A (Brief) History of Diets

  • 1820 - Vinegar and Water Diet
  • 1825 - Low Carbohydrate Diet (first appeared in The Physiology of Taste by Jean Brillat-Savarin)
  • 1830 - Graham’s Diet (only legacy: invented Graham Crackers)
  • 1863 - Banting’s Low Carbohydrate Diet (“Banting” becomes a popular term for dieting)
  • 1903 - Horace Fletcher promotes “Fletcherizing” (chewing your food 32 times)
  • 1917 - Calorie Counting (introduced by Lulu Hunt Peters in her book Diet and Health with Key to the Calories)
  • 1925 - Cigarette Diet (“reach for a Lucky instead of a sweet”)
  • 1928 - Inuit Meat-and-Fat Diet (Caribou, raw fish and whale blubber)
  • 1930 - Hay Diet (carbohydrate and proteins not allowed at the same meal) and Dr Stoll’s Diet Aid (first of the liquid diet drinks)
  • 1934 - Bananas and Skim Milk Diet (backed by the United Fruit Company)
  • 1950 - Cabbage Soup Diet (flatulence is listed as a main side effect)
  • 1960 - Zen Macrobiotic Diet (created by Japanese philosopher George Ohsawa)
  • 1961 - Calories Don’t Count Diet (FDA filed charges regarding diet’s claims)
  • 1961 - Drinking Man’s Diet (Harvard School of Public Health declared diet unhealthful)
  • 1976 - Sleeping Beauty Diet (individual heavily sedated for several days) and Liquid Protein Diet (liquid protein drinks were low in vitamins and minerals)
  • 1981 - Beverly Hills Diet (only fruit for first 10 days but in unlimited amounts)
  • 1985 - Fit for life (avoid combining protein and carbohydrate foods) and Caveman Diet (food from the Paleolithic era)
  • 1986 - Rotation Diet (rotating number of calories taken in from week to week)
  • 1987 - Scarsdale Diet (low-carbohydrate, low-calorie diet plan)
  • 1990 - Cabbage Soup Diet (diet from 1950s resurfaces on the web)
  • 1994 - High Protein, Low Carb Diet (Dr Atkins’ version)
  • 1995 - Sugar Busters - Cut Sugar to Trim Fat (eliminates refined carbohydrates)
  • 1996 - Eat Right for Your Type (diet based on blood type)
  • 1999 - Juice, Fasting and Detoxification (perennial dieting favourites reappear in combination)
  • 2000 - Raw Foods Diet (focuses on uncooked, unprocessed organic foods)
  • 2001 - High Protein, Low Carb Diet (1994 diet updated)
  • 2004 - Coconut Diet (fats replaced with coconut oil)
  • 2005 - Cheater’s Diet (cheating on the weekend is required)
  • 2006 - Maple Syrup Diet (features a special syrup-lemon drink)
  • and the dieting merry-go-round continues . . .