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Weight Loss Through the Ages

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Weight Loss Advertisement from Woman Beautiful Magazine, November 1908

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.

Rubber Reducing Garment advertising, Woman Beautiful Magazine, November 1908.

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!

Comments (9)

  1. Diet is part of a person’s lifestyle. For me, I often ate a lot of carbohydrates foods. I’m kinda petite type of person, but when times I felt my tummy gets bigger, as in I can feel that I’m getting bigger and bigger, that’s the time I mellow down my eating lifestyle.

  2. Thanks for the tips shared on your own blog. Something else I would like to state is that losing weight is not information about going on a celebrity diet and trying to lose as much weight as possible in a few days. The most effective way to shed pounds is by using it slowly and obeying some basic tips which can allow you to make the most through your attempt to lose fat. You may understand and be following some tips, however reinforcing information never hurts.

  3. There is no ugly woman, but just lazy woman.

  4. Thank you for sharing this site

  5. Its really important to visit this site.

  6. Useful for me.

  7. Thank you very much.

  8. A good mind present in a good body. Exercise and a proper diet is essential for every woman.
    this helps me a lot.

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