This short article, published in the Taunton Courier, and Western Advertiser in 1908, reveals that the obsessive nature of physical culturists has long been a problem for those outside the hobby. Hepworth-Dixon’s sharp tongue and keen eye reveal that obsessively counting calories and taking supplements is most certainly not a new problem.
The article leaves us wondering how many of these ‘young gentlemen’ were seeking to emulate Eugen Sandow, the primer physical culturist of the day.
Those whose pleasure takes them much into the dining-places and drawing-rooms of London will have noticed, writes Elsa Hepworth-Dixon in the Sketch, that the health and food fadist has almost disappeared this autumn.
We no longer job elbows with serious young gentlemen who insist on weighing their sustenance in miniature scales, take microbe-killers on bread and jam or grow pale at the sight even of a green pea.
Once more, people eat and drink sensibly, without bothering their neighbours with details of their digestion; and the world, consequently is considerably more amusing than it was a year ago.
But though the persons oversolicitous about their diet have been weaned from valetudinarianism, the folks with “hobbies” are growing more numerous. A club for these fortunates – male and female after their kind- is actually being started, and the only drawback to this news of London circles would seem to be that members will possibly bore each other to tears over their particular fads.