Calories & Corsets, By Louise Foxcroft
Arifa Akbar is literary editor of The Independent and i newspapers. She has worked at The Independent since 2001 as a news reporter and arts correspondent before joining the books desk in 2009. She was a judge for the Orwell Prize for books, 2013, and is currently a judge of the Fiction Uncovered Prize 2014, and the Independent Scholastic New Children's Prize 2014.
Saturday 12 January 2013
This history of dieting proves that the ancient Greek concept of "diatetica" - eating for health and wellbeing - has not yet been perfected by two centuries of rabid dieters.
The fad diet is tracked back to the 19th century when body-size became connected to celebrity and fashion.
The roster of "miracle" cures have ranged from the ancient Greek liking for vomiting to eating soap, manic mastication and, most amusingly, the dieter's prayer of 1967: "I promise not to sit and stuff/ But stop when I have had enough." If only.
Is the comedy album making a comeback?comedy
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
- 2 The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
- 3 Danish TV reporter is all business up top, all party down below
- 4 Ross Burden dead: MasterChef and Ready Steady Cook star, dies aged 45
- 5 Businessman charged £75 for three small bottles of water in London hotel
The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Were 'Poor Doors' added to mixed developments so wealthy residents don't have to go in alongside social housing tenants?
A new Russian revolution: The cracks are starting to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Opponents of Israel's military operation in Gaza are the real enemies of Middle Eastern peace