Tag: fad diets

Guest Post: Weight Loss Diets of The Twentieth Century

People often think of diet as a relatively modern trend that became popular in the 1980s. However, the humanity has been struggling to lose weight for centuries. The idea of dieting as an effective method for achieving this has been around at least since the twentieth century, when the first literature that gave weight-loss advice appeared.

In this article, we are going to review the history of diets in the twentieth century that revolutionized the way people looked at nutrition.

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Weight Loss in 1920s America: The Reducing Craze

In the 1920s a new fitness craze hit white America called reducing. As the name suggests, reducing had everything to do with losing weight but very little to do with exercise and correct nutrition.

This was no ordinary weight loss craze. It was an all encompassing movement involving popular media, emerging business markets and a growing white consciousness about the importance of health. So popular had reducing become that by 1925, a contemporary US journalist remarked

“Reducing has become a national pastime, a craze, a national fanaticism, a frenzy.”

Hillel Schwartz would later characterize this craze as less than ideal “the “Roaring Twenties were also the calculating, calorie controlled, ounce-conscious Grim twenties.”

So how did reducing sweep the US nation?