My mother has tried nearly every contemporary diet ever conceived, which has resulted in her becoming a collector of diet books. Through my mother’s obsession with diet programs, I have become familiar with a variety of weight loss fads and trends–from the Cabbage Soup Diet to the Blood Type Diet, and from the Flat Belly Diet to the Atkins Diet. Without a doubt, there is no absence of ideas for losing weight.
Last week we hosted a panel discussion on weight loss through the ages featuring leading nutrition, obesity, and weight loss experts.
This program received a lot of press, such as a USA Today’s article Decades of Dieting Delusions on Display at the Library of Congress; NPR’s Annals of Weight Loss from Bile Beans to Weight Loss Soap; and ABC News’ Fat-Fighting Fads Through the Ages with an accompanying slide show.
To supplement the panel discussion, science reference staff displayed more than 100 books on diets, nutrition, and obesity. A majority of the books displayed are listed in the Science Reference Guide Health Effects of Obesity and the bibliography Diets and Dieting: A History of Weight Loss in America, which starts with William Banting’s 1864 Letter on Corpulence. Banting, who suffered from corpulence, called obesity a “parasite” and a “disease” in this work.
This program was filmed and in the coming weeks can be seen on the Library’s webcast page. I will notify readers when the webcast becomes available.
Update: The webcast for Weight Loss Through the Ages is available for viewing!