The History of Diets- Part 2 of 3

Part 1 of this blog covered the history of diets from the 1700’s to 1952. Part 2 will span 1959-2000.

1959 – The New York Times now reports that Americans suffer “a dieting neurosis.” Gallup Poll finds 72 percent of dieters are women. Metracal, the first liquid diet proclaims: “Not one of the top 50 U.S. corporations has a fat president.” Girdle sales reach record highs.

1960 – Stillman Diet, requiring eight glasses of water and filet mignon every day, is introduced. Overeaters Anonymous, inspired by AA is founded.

1961 – A Queens, New York, housewife, Jean Nidetch, starts dieting discussion group. Seventeen years later, sells her Weight Watchers empire for $100 million.

1963 – Coca-Cola introduces TAB. However, men won’t drink from a pink can.

1966 – Atkins Diet published in Harper’s Bazaar. Eggs, bacon even pork rinds allowed; broccoli is restricted.

1967 – Twiggy, 5’7″ and 91 lbs., appears on cover of Vogue four times. 1970 Seventy percent of American families using low-cal products; 10 billion amphetamines manufactured annually.

1977 – Liquid protein diets banned after three deaths.

1979 – The Complete Scarsdale Medical Diet becomes a best-seller. Success is short-lived for creator, Dr. Herman Tarnower.

1982 – John Hopkins University researchers calculate that Americans have swallowed more than 29,068 “theories, treatments and outright schemes to lose weight.” NFL endorses Diet Coke for men. 1990 Oprah Winfrey loses 67 pounds on Optifast; one year later, Oprah gains back 67 pounds and declares, “No more diets!”

1992 – The National Institutes of Health champions moderation and daily exercise as the best diet. Extreme obesity is declared a disease.

1995 – Fen-Phen (fenfluramin and phentermine) introduced to the market place as the new magic pill solution to weight-loss

1997 – Mayo Clinic releases report claiming fen-phen causes heart valve deterioration and possible permanent brain cell damage. Manufacturer voluntarily withdraws fen-phen and Redux from the market.

2000 – American Home Products continues to defend against more than 2,000 class action suits brought against the company by parties claiming damaged from the company’s fen-phen-based products. Weider Nutrition settles with the FTC for “Unsubstantiated Claims for Dietary Supplements” for its Phen Cal products.

Throughout history, “Fitness” (proper nutrition and physical activity) continues to be the ONLY credible protocol for long-term weight-management.

 Next blog I will cover the years 2002-2011….

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