Health: Looking better under the clothes

In a bit of a departure from writing about clothes and makers thereof, today I want to talk a bit about an underlying part of looking good in your fancy clothes, i.e. the body within them. Anyone who has ever had doubts about their body will have bought clothes with the idea that they will stealthily hide what lies within. Also, buying shirts based on the size of the gut rather than the size of your chest is a real downer. So, why not do something about it?

no gut

First though, a look back almost 200 years, to a time when the smart people seem to have been pretty damn smart. Not only truly awesome clever clogs like Leonardo Da-Vinci, but also about a topic that holds a large part of the developed world in a state of perplexity even today, to wit, how to lose weight…

Read the following, and see if it reminds you of anything:

“Oh Heavens!” all you readers of both sexes will cry out, !oh Heavens above! But what a wretch the Profesor is! Here in a single word he forbids us everything we most love, the little white rolls… and those cookies… and a hundred other things made with flour and butter, with flour and sugar, with flour and sugar and eggs! He doesn’t even leave us potatoes, or macaroni! Who would have thought this of a lover of good food who seemed so pleasant?

“What’s this I hear?” I exclaim, putting on my severest face, which I do perhaps once a year. “Very well then, eat! Get fat! Become ugly, and thick, and asthmatic, and finally die in your own melted grease: I shall be there to watch it.”

This is an extract from a book called “The Physiology of Taste”, by Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, first published in 1825. Born in 1755, he became first a lawyer, then a politician, though his passion was food and drink, or “the pleasures of the table” as he put it. He began writing down his thoughts in the 1790’s until he finally published the book in 1825. And died two months later, of pneumonia.

What he is describing though is what was common knowledge among doctors until the 1960’s. It is the basis of the Atkins diet introduced in 1972, and what has suddenly come to be described as a fad diet in recent times. Oh, and pretty much the Paleo-diet as well. Hardly anything new or faddish though, it was just forgotten for 40 odd years while all the supposed experts went on a wild goose chase looking for other truths. Which sadly haven’t worked out too well, given hos it is proven fact that neither exercise, starvation or alphabet-diets actually have any long term effect on obesity . Oh, and while there is an epidemic of obesity and funds are available for reseach, why not poke around and try finding a gene that makes people fat?

For supposedly smart animals, humans can be pretty dumb. You get it though, right? Is this a topic that warrants further post?

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