This Town Used Being Socially Active to Cure Mental Health Issues

In the 1950’s it was not uncommon for a 50-year-old male to die of a heart attack. During that time, it was the leading cause of death throughout the ’50s. To be more specific, in all of North America, the leading cause of death was heart attack with the not-so-well-known town in Pennsylvania named Roseto as the rest of the continent was cutting out all fats, salts and cholesterol from their diets, at the same time, these same people were getting put on cholesterol-lowering drugs. Roseto was the only extensive populous who followed the exact opposite diet the rest of the continent was put on.

They at no carbs, they at many eggs, and meat, lard, lots of fats (41% of their diet was fat), with tons of salt. As the people of Roseto ate this diet, not one person was diagnosed with heart disease.

What is interesting too is the mental and other health aspects of this diet:

  • No drug addiction
  • No alcoholism
  • Not a single person committed suicide.
  • No one developed a peptic ulcer.
  • Very little crime

It does go a bit beyond just Roseto’s healthy diet. It also included other factors the sociologist John Bruhn observed. Roseto’s was filled with mostly immigrants from Italy that were always very social people. The town worked together in unity as one in that society. It was customary to have three generations living under one roof. People would take the time to talk to their neighbours and anyone else they had seen throughout their daily active lives.

Often many would gather in backyards and cook for one another. Together with every Sunday, they would gather at Our Lady of Mount Carmel. John Bruhn had witnessed this calming and unifying effect from the Church. He totalled 22 various civic organizations in a town of just two hundred people. The townspeople on the society’s particular egalitarian ethos discouraged the rich and wealthy from bolstering their success and aided the unsuccessful from their failures.

Transferring southern Italy’s paesani society to eastern Pennsylvania, the Rosetans had created a healthy, caring social structure efficient of insulating them from the modern world’s many difficulties.  The Rosetans were healthy because of the society they created for their society in the hills of Pennsylvania.

These Italian Immigrants lived beyond the norms of their time and ended up being the healthiest of the entire continent of North America. We would have a lot healthier society physically, mentally, and spiritually if we went back to actual human interaction and other small changes like a healthier diet. Drinking more water and reading more books, well having that human to human everyday interactions like people were developed to be. We are not species designed to live in isolation. It leads to illness and things like suicide every time, no matter where you look throughout history or whatever prison you go to. Isolation leads to depression, anxiety, delusions and other serious health effects. 


Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell 

“I am not here to build a business; I am not here to create a corporation; Not here to build Schools; I am not here to build churches—I am no Mother Theresa. 

What I will do, though, is—lead a legacy.”

– Dean Mathers



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *