Both James and Ellen White made it clear they could not stand by the extreme positions taken in the Health Reformer, especially by the non-Adventist contributing editor, Dr. R. T. Trall, and the editor, William C. Gage, a layman who did not in his own home carry out what he advocated in the journal. Explaining why Ellen White spoke often on health reform, her husband wrote:

Since we have become active again, Mrs. White oftener feels called upon to speak upon the subject of health reform because of existing extremes of health reformers than from any other reason. The fact that all, or nearly all, of the existing extremes upon health reform among our people are supposed to receive her unqualified sanction is the reason why she feels called upon to speak her real sentiments (RH, Nov. 8, 1870).