By Louise Foxcroft
This can be an enlightening and exciting social heritage of ways we have now attempted (and failed) to conflict the bulge over millennia. this day we're suggested from both sides to slender down and form up, to shed a number of kilos or lose life-threatening stones. The media's relentless obsession with dimension will be perceived as a twenty-first-century phenomenon, yet as award-winning historian Louise Foxcroft indicates, we've been suffering from what to consume, while and what sort of, ever because the Greeks and the Romans first pinched an inch. Meticulously researched, incredible and infrequently surprising, "Calories and Corsets" tells the epic tale of our advanced dating with nutrients, the models and fads of physique form, and the way cultural ideals and social norms have replaced through the years. Combining learn from clinical journals, letters, articles and the weight loss program bestsellers we proceed to eat (including one by means of an octogenarian Italian within the 16th century), Foxcroft unearths the extraordinary and infrequently absurd lengths humans will visit to be able to in achieving the best physique, from consuming carbolic cleaning soap to intentionally swallowing tapeworm. This specified and witty background exposes the myths and anxieties that force state-of-the-art multi-billion pound food plan - and gives a welcome viewpoint on how we will be able to be fit and satisfied in bodies.
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Additional info for Calories and Corsets: A history of dieting over two thousand years
One of the earliest ever regimens specifically for weight loss was devised for those who did not match up to this ‘beauty of the form of the body’, meaning those who suffered from ‘undue thinness and fatness’. The eleventh-century plan, prescribed by Avicenna, a Persian physician and philosopher, advises the fat and unhealthy to eat only bulky food with little nutrition in it and then to help it move through their bodies as quickly as possible with the aid of laxatives and exercise. Avicenna’s weight-loss answer is still extremely popular nearly a thousand years later though still no more successful as a long-term solution.
With as many as one-third of all men and women in the Western world thought to be overweight and, unsurprisingly, twice that number believing themselves to be so, the diet industry is sitting pretty. In America alone, an astonishing $40 billion a year is spent on slimming and there truly is something for everyone. You can try the Cabbage Soup diet, or the Grapefruit diet, the Three-day diet, the One-day diet, the Scarsdale diet, the Zone diet, the South Beach diet, the F-Plan diet, the GI diet, the Atkins, the Dukan, the MacDougall Plan, the Prism, the Pritikin, the Hay, the Hollywood, the Russian Air Force diet, the Better Sex diet, the Blood Type diet, the Açai Berry diet, the Hallelujah diet, caveman diets, detoxifying diets, hypno-diets, negative calorie, food-combining diets, the magic-bullet diets, even eating naked in front of the mirror … We are bombarded via technology, too, from the self-improvement vinyl record series of the 1960s, such as Edward L.
Not much has changed, has it? During the last century our preoccupation with losing weight has increased, even becoming, according to some psychiatrists, a national neurosis. We have a common aversion to fat – an aesthetic distaste, not to be confused with concerns over obesity and health, though the two are often conflated – and we have a multimillion-pound slimming industry to go with it. Our culture has an endless array of celebrities for us to gawp at: archetypal silent, skinny, schoolgirl-women and waif-boys, eminently enviable and emulated by all groups and ages.