Calories & Corsets, By Louise Foxcroft

 

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.

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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.

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