By Brian Rosenthal, CPT, CFNS
Jumping forward to the eleventh century, William the Conqueror discovers the liquid diet. As he had become too fat to ride his horse, his solution was to drink only alcohol and stay in bed.
In the 1830′s Sylvester Graham, a Presbyterian minister, preached food gluttony led to health issues, sexual perversions and a doomed life as a scofflaw. Replacing meat and sugar with vegetables, water and grains would lead to salivation. He went on to invent the Graham Cracker found on the grocery shelves today.
In 1864, undertaker William Banting published “Letter of Corpulence”. This early diet book recommends mostly meat, fish and minimal vegetables. Do not forget to wash down all of this protein with a minimum of six glasses of wine a day.
Now a multi-billion dollar per year industry, diet supplement first hit the markets at the turn of the century. The early weight loss infomercial would have asked “How much are you willing to pay for these laxatives or vomit inducement aids?”
Horace Fletcher took a break from his art dealings, put on a lab coat, and created a weight loss solution to chew on. Dubbed the Great Masticator, Fletcher recommended chewing every bit of food 32 times before swallowing. To back his clam, he would send his own excrement to scientists claiming the size and odor proved his good health.Add a pound of fruit each day to Fletchers theory and you would be on the same wave length as Dr. John Harvey Kellogg. Kellogg later went on to create the corn flake which has stood the test of time.
By the early 1900s, chemists Wilbur Atwater how many units of heat food produced and the term calorie was born. Russell Chittenden’s research was based in determining how many of these units were utilized during exercise.
Calorie Counting and #1 Diet Book for Women
Dr. Lulu Peters published her book, Diet and Health with Key to the Calories, in 1918 which became the fist best selling diet book. Written to guilt people into food conservation during war time, Dr. Peters patriotic and highly sarcastic book proclaims “how dare you hoard fat when our nation needs it.” Using colorful characters such as Ima Gobbler and Mrs. Knott Little, Dr. Peters recommends strict 1,200 calorie diet of 10-15% protein, 25 percent to 30 percent fat and 60 percent to 65 percent carbohydrates. She also recommends drinking one large glass of water and fifteen minutes of bend and stretch exercises per day.
The stress of World War II and the rationing of food made eating not only a means to nourish but a psychological comfort. A Newsweek article in the 1950′s stated women consume rich foods to compensate for boredom, depression and unfulfilled sex lives. The New York Times sited the psychological state of people was the cause of weight problems in 90 percent of the cases.
So why are obesity numbers rising when the number of weight loss programs has increased significantly during the same time. One reason is nearly all diets don’t work. We will discover what does work throughout this series of articles.