Nutrition, Disease, Health, Race
Discusses Banting 1863, which draws attention to William Banting's claim that he underwent unsuccessful medical treatment for obesity. Observes that while 'Corpulence is generally the consequence of gluttony, and curable, by moderation', Banting's work suggests that corpulence can be 'reduced by any abstinence short of low diet'. Presents Banting's scheme for reducing weight, which surprisingly and amusingly for Punch, consists of a diet of extremely fattening foods. Punch explains that the diet excludes 'starch and saccharine matter as much as possible', a principle which Punch thinks is 'sound' but then points out that a diet of potatoes does not cause stoutness: 'vital chemistry transmutes potatoes into Irish muscle'. Concludes by urging that the best plan for the 'diminution of bulk' is eating food that you do not like and abstaining from that which you do.
© Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical Project, Universities of Leeds and Sheffield, 2005 - 2020
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