The diet industry brings in about $20 billion every year, and around 108 million people are on diets. Those who are looking to trim down are faced with an overwhelming variety of diet books and plans, as well as ads that make them feel bad about their inability to keep the pounds off.
This advertisement is promoting Dr. Kellogg's free diet treatment sometime in the 1930s. Dr. Kellogg is known for his wellness sanitarium, which focused on "nutrition, enemas and exercise." He and his brother are credited for inventing corn flakes. Which you can now buy frosted with sugar.
In the 1950s, it wasn't enough for women to not be fat ”” they couldn't be too skinny, either. Here's an ad for a weight gainer that will give women the curves they desire. Because that's how weight gain works.
Richard Simmons was the dieting guru in the '70s and '80s. A positive force and supporting personality, Simmons has a weight loss empire including books, workouts and his famous "Deal A Meal" plan. It consisted of cards representing food groups, and after you'd eaten enough for the day, you could just eat the cards.
According to the Weight Watchers website: "In the early 60's, Weight Watchers founder Jean Nidetch began inviting friends into her Queens home once a week, to discuss how best to lose weight." So began this weight loss giant which today rakes in about $650 million a year selling memberships, cookbooks and packaged food. Or in WW terms, about 13 million points.
Jenny Craig is the little sister to Weight Watchers. The difference is that with JC she'll give you almost all the food you need already packaged up with preservatives and enough sodium to choke a horse. But if it works for celebrities, it must work for us, right?
The Atkins Diet is a hight fat/low carb eating plan developed by Dr. Robert Atkins. So no bread, pasta, candy or processed carbs. This is a great plan if you love to eat meat and cheese but hate being happy.
There have been a ton of fad diets: the grapefruit diet, the cabbage diet and let's not forget the hot dog diet. However, this "master cleanse" involves drinking just water with lemon, honey and cayenne pepper. Perfect for sadists and those looking to punish their colons.
Americans' obsession with losing weight rarely transfers to us eating healthy. Diet sodas have long been touted as a way to stay trim, although evidence shows they are just as harmful to our long term health as regular soda.