Dieting has been around for thousands of years, although not in any structured way like we see all around us today. It wasn’t very common until the 1800’s simply because people who were overweight were not very common; only rich and well to do were overweight. So being fat was not a problem for most people. As time progressed, many more people became wealthy and thus had much greater access to the same foods as the wealthy. Eating and drinking too much became a sign of affluence. Thus the idea of “dieting” became more mainstream. Here are some notable “diet plans” by decade:
- The Hollywood Diet (soon to be better known as The Grapefruit Diet) is introduced. Seeweeds, such as kelp and bladderwrack are promoted as the food choice to end weight problems.
- Diet guru, Victor Lindlahr, regularly broadcasts on the nations’ radios to spread news of “reverse calorie foods.” This is a catabolic system of weight loss he has discovered where some foods use up more calories to be digested, than they give out to the body; like celery and apples.
• 1940’s and 1950’s
- “Ideal Weight” charts are invented by matching a weight with gender, height and frame.
- Diet Pills are introduced that are based on Amphetamine derivatives. It is soon realized that they are dangerous.
- A woman named Jean Nidetch and friends hold a meeting in her apartment to share support and advice on dieting. It is the beginning of Weight Watchers.
- Dr. Atkins releases his plan for weight loss, the high protein, high fat and low carbohydrate diet causes a storm of controversy that still rages today as multiple health fears are voiced by critics.
- The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) calls for a ban on saccharin in the United States. Because of voter fury, the US Congress does not heed this advice.
- The Pritikin Diet Program with low fat and high fiber is introduced for those with heart complaints, but quickly is taken up by those for weight loss.
- The eating disorder anorexia nervosa is described for the first time by Psychiatrists as many continual dieters start to become underweight.
- Dexatrim is introduced to the market.
- A new drug called fenfluramine is introduced which makes the brain think the stomach is full.
- Dr. Robert Linn invents a quick protein drink called Prolinn, which is made up of slaughterhouse byproducts like crushed horns and hooves and hides, which are treated with artificial flavorings and enzymes. He urges for all looking to lose weight, to completely omit food and break the fast only by the use if his product in The Last Chance Diet. Somewhere around 3 million weight worriers give it a go.
- The book entitled, Fit for Life, is written by Harvey and Marilyn Diamond. In it are claims that the human body has changing physiological needs for certain foods depending on the time of day.
- Slim Fast makes it’s dieting debut
- The Beverly Hills Diet becomes the latest diet craze. It holds that only fruit should be eaten for the first 10 days of the plan.
- An anti-diabetes system called The Glycemic index is developed by Dr. David Jenkins and a team of scientists at the University of Toronto. To help simplify the problems suffered by diabetics, the index charts how quickly a range of diverse foods affect blood sugar levels. This research is also often misappropriated by authors of fad diets to back up their weight loss claims.
- TV personality Oprah Winfrey loses almost 70 pounds on a liquid diet.
- Health writer, Susan Powter advises her female readers to diet less and exercise more.
- The FDA demands that food labeling should include more detailed information about calories and fat content to assist dieting consumers, and for better general public health.
- A shocking report indicates that 40% of nine and ten year old children in the United States are dieting for weight loss reasons.
- The diet pills containing fenfluramine and the related dexfenfluramine are withdrawn by their manufacturers as the FDA reports on them being cause of heart valve disease.
- The South Beach Diet, invented by cardiologist, Dr. Arthur Agatston is introduced to America.
- Alli becomes the first FDA approved over the counter weight loss aide
- Some research claims that for the first time in recorded human history, the number of underfed people in the world has been equaled by those overweight.
BOTTOM LINE: Diets do not work; diets never work! The diet industry is a $54 billion dollar industry with a 95% fail rate. Despite all our “diet foods” we are still getting fatter. Despite all the money spent yearly on dieting, 66 percent of Americans are overweight today compared to 58 percent in 1983. In my mind, the word diet is just an ugly little four letter word. It insinuates a beginning and an end…and there should never be an end to healthy living. Good food, good exercise, indulgences in moderation = balance. Balance = a happy and healthy lifestyle!
What do you think about the concept of being on a diet?
Filed under: Uncategorized |