Several diseases are directly related to the straining and increased intra-abdominal pressure due to constipation. – hermorrhoids, hernias, varicose veins, and diverticula of the large bowel.

By adopting Western eating habits, many Asians have begun to suffer from “Western” diseases caused by fiber-deficient diets. Modern refining processing very efficiently removes fiber by polishing rice, milling wheat to produce white flour, and extracting white sugar from sugar cane.

In many undeveloped countries where unrefined food is eaten, there is practically no appendicitis. Dr. Burkitt, who spent many years as a surgeon in Africa, taught his young surgeons in training never to diagnose appendicitis in African patients unless they could speak English. He considered this ability to be an index of their contact with the Western culture and adoption of Western eating habits.