The hit programme Love Island recently came under a lot of pressure after it aired an ad for Skinny Sprinkles. The diet product is aimed at helping people become slim and as such, it is part of a weight loss market estimated to be worth 66 billion dollars in the US alone. Europe isn’t too far behind that at 44 billion. It is big business and while its expansion has kept pace with our growing waist-lines, its origins can be traced oddly enough to a time when food was scarce.
In this special summer podcast rebroadcast, Dr Myriam Wilks-Heeg, Lecturer in Twentieth Century History, discusses the history of slimming in the UK and how it became an obsession for women in post-war Britain.
“The end of food rationing marked the beginning of a modern slimming culture, which has since permeated all aspects of women’s lives,” Dr Wilks-Heeg explains.
From the buttermilk diet, to the air hostess diet, Dr Wilks-Heeg looks back through the archives of women’s magazines that have offered slimming advice to their readers throughout the decades. She also considers society’s changing attitudes to diet, exercise and public health.
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