Digesting The Often Unpalatable History Of Dieting

Around 1900, when insurance companies proclaimed a relationship between obesity and morbidity, fat and health became generally linked in the popular consciousness.

In the early part of the 20th Century, the growth of bigger government - a more all-pervasive state - led to great advances in public health in both the US and the UK. Along with many epochal advances in social welfare there came a series of general and inspirational announcements on what the "ideal help me diet" should be. As ever down to the present day, the public generally paid not a blind bit of notice to such exhortations, unsupported as they were by the excitement of any hard sell from the Diet Industry.

And hard sell there certainly was. The first quarter of the new century saw everything from thyroid extracts from dead animals, to relatively harmless (and useless) herbal extracts, through to the newly developed amphetamine drugs being promoted as obesity wonder cures.

Two key factors fueled the fast growing how do you diet Industry. The first was a relative abundance of food in the West; today we live in an era of global nutritional imbalance - there are roughly the same numbers of people who are overfed as are underfed.

The second was the glamour of Hollywood, with its perfect stars of perfect physique. To an increasing number of observers, how do I diet has always remained more of a slave to fashion, despite its lip-service to health issues.

Flying the flag for moderation in the 1920's, bringing the old-style abstinence-is-close-to-godliness messages forward into a new era, was US doctor Lulu Hunt Peters. She added the new science of calorie counting to traditional self-denial, advocated lifelong restricted calories via an obsessively closely-controlled regime. For Peters it was not just overindulgence which was the sin; physical evidence of overweight was abhorrent.

In these ways best-seller Peters could be seen as being the Founding Mother of what modern weight control charity The Weight Foundation calls Lifer how can I diet, referring to those who are permanently dieting and cannot envisage without catastrophizing a single day off their strict routine.

Taking stock, we are now have background on the formation of four of the major strands of the modern Dieting Industry: high-fiber/whole-food, high-protein with high fat, low-fat and, fourthly, rigid overall calorie control.

Another major tradition had already become a widespread help me diet phenomenon by the time of Peters' pious exaltations to abstinence.

William Hay came up with the idea that certain food groups of his designation should only be eaten in strictly defined pairings. Food combination how do you diet also still recur frequently in fresh guises because it is exceptionally easy to come up with new combinations to recommend.

The second half of the 20th Century saw it all trotted again in endless variations - the high fiber F-Plan, the carnivore's delight of first Stallman and then Atkins, low fat in numerous guises, new combinations with the Beverley Hills and simple deprivation endlessly repacked, usually with "celebrity" endorsement (and often with an increased emphasis on low carbs, or somehow differentiated carbs).

So, are we scraping the barrel by now for new how can I diet? Well, the big bandwagon rolling on in to the 21st Century has been carbs with a new twist. Picking up on the Glycerin Index, developed to assist diabetics with the timed glucose-level effects of various foods, this concept has been dragged into the realm of dieting advice. But is it just a case of new words, old ideas - aren't we back with Bunting’s "starch and saccharine matter"?

In fact, we could go back a good deal further. The world's oldest surviving medical document, the Beers Papyrus from 1550 B.C. Egypt, contains a recipe for an anti-diabetic how do I diet of wheat germ and okra.

It's got a long history, this dieting business. There are grains of truth here and there but it's not a particularly proud history when it comes to lasting weight control.

Certain help me diet will make people lose weight. Consistently consuming less energy than you expend will definitely result in weight loss. Diets just happen to be notoriously hopeless at achieving the one thing that really matters - moving away from a poor or obsessive relationship with food, to a good and relaxed relationship. Mind-shifts do not happen in the stomach.





Around 1900, when insurance companies proclaimed a relationship between obesity and morbidity, fat and health became generally linked in the popular consciousness.

In the early part of the 20th Century, the growth of bigger government - a more all-pervasive state - led to great advances in public health in both the US and the UK. Along with many epochal advances in social welfare there came a series of general and inspirational announcements on what the "ideal how do you diet" should be. As ever down to the present day, the public generally paid not a blind bit of notice to such exhortations, unsupported as they were by the excitement of any hard sell from the Diet Industry.

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