Sunday, August 15, 2010

Fad Diet History

There was an interesting article in Time Magazine earlier this year that I stumbled on.  It was a brief page that shared some of the odd diets that have come and gone over the last thousand years!  (Yes!  One thousand years ago, people were still worrying about their weight!  Sort of a shame, if you ask me.)

But here are some of the crazy schemes they uncovered:

1087: William the Conqueror became too fat to ride his horse, so developed the alcohol-only diet.  Doesn't that sound like party time??  I think it'd be more fun to watch others on that diet than it would be to actually BE on that diet!

1829: Sylvester Graham starts the "Vegetarian Graham Diet" that includes his now renowned treat - the Graham Cracker!

1863: William Banting markets the first known "Low Carb" diet.  (Which has been reintroduced over history, most recently from Dr. Atkins)

1900s: Tapeworm pills are marketed.  (The worms crawl in the, the worms crawl out...)

1903: Horace "the Great Masticator" Fletcher instructed people to chew 32 times then spit the food out.  (Can you imagine those dinner parties?!)

1928: The Inuit Diet - another low carb diet that pushed meat and fats

1934: Dr. George Harrop started the "skim milk and bananas" diet (which I read made a comeback across seas last year or so...) 

1960s: The "Calories Don't Count" if you chug some vegetable oils after eating, thanks to the mind of Dr. Herman Taller.  Yuck!

1966: The "Sleeping Beauty" diet - just get sedated and you'll sleep through meal times!

1990s: various restrictive diets like Cabbage Soup Diet, Master Cleanse, etc. 

And I'm sure there have been many other diet schemes through time.  But those were the ones in the article!  I just thought it was an interesting read.  Perhaps I will be thought of as a crazy old loon some day for pushing so much fresh produce, but so be it!  I still believe it's the best way!

Happy eating, everyone!



  1. LOL! William the conqueror's diet makes me laugh. It is a shame that people have worried about their weight for so long. But if you can't ride your horse, I think you do have a little bit of an issue ;)

  2. Haha! Yeah, I suppose that may be similar to if a person was too large to fit in/drive their car... we need to be able to get around! And sadly, biking/walking just isn't an option so often these days. I wish I had more sidewalks in my neighborhood!