Strange diet fads through the years
While 2014 was the year of the 5:2 diet, 2015 looks to be the year of the paleo diet, a nutritional routine which allows you to only consume foods eaten by early human beings.
For some people, this so-called ‘caveman’ diet is going too far; for others, it represents the perfect way to eliminate processed foods from our daily consumption. But whatever you think of the paleo diet, it’s far from the weirdest health food fad in history.
The vinegar diet
Legendary 19th century poet Lord Byron obsessed about his weight, reports the BBC, and once went on a diet that required him to drink vinegar and eat vinegar-soaked potatoes. Unsurprisingly, it caused vomiting and diarrhoea and, much like today’s celebrities, Byron came under fierce criticism for the effect that his diet might have on young people of the time.
Even though it sounds like an old-fashioned myth long since debunked, variations of the vinegar diet still crop up in the 21st century. Recently, the apple cider vinegar diet has had some modest popularity amongst celebrities: it involves drinking three teaspoons of apple cider vinegar to curb food cravings, though there is no evidence to suggest that it works.
The cotton wool diet
It sounds like a hoax but apparently has legs: the almost mythical cotton wool diet followed by supermodels is apparently a real thing. The story goes that professional supermodels have been known to swallow orange juice soaked in cotton wool to suppress hunger cravings. While it’s true that cotton wool has little to no calories, its nutritional value is also nought. Worse still, it’s not digestible so could cause serious damage to your guts. Medical professionals advise against this diet.
As recently as the 1920s, the tapeworm diet held some currency with those hoping to lose weight. It sounds like the perfect quick fix: simply swallow a tapeworm, so they eat some of the food that makes its way into your stomach. But there are significant health risks to this dubious strategy, as tapeworms may multiply in your body and the nature of these parasitic beings means that they remove the nutrition you need from your body, causing sickness. Thankfully, people now know more about the harmful effects of having a tapeworm living inside your body.
Chew and spit diet
Also known as Fletcherism after Horace Fletcher, its proponent. At the turn of the 20th century, this diet involved chewing food until its nutrition was extracted, then spitting it out. Fletcher prescribed chewing food 100 times a minute. Although it seems ridiculous, it was very popular and, the BBC reveals, counted the famous writers Franz Kafka and Henry James among its followers.
What are the strangest fad diets you’ve ever heard of?
Silversurfer's Assistant Editor
Latest posts by Silversurfer's Assistant Editor (see all)
- Introducing a new partner to your children and grandchildren - February 19, 2018
- Clever uses for nail files - February 16, 2018
- Welcome to the Year of the Dog - February 15, 2018
- Set yourself a new goal for Lent - February 14, 2018
- Is it worth celebrating Valentine’s Day? - February 13, 2018
Leave a Comment!
Community Terms & Conditions
These content standards apply to any and all material which you contribute to our site (contributions), and to any interactive services associated with it.
You must comply with the spirit of the following standards as well as the letter. The standards apply to each part of any contribution as well as to its whole.
be accurate (where they state facts); be genuinely held (where they state opinions); and comply with applicable law in the UK and in any country from which they are posted.
Contributions must not:
contain any material which is defamatory of any person; or contain any material which is obscene, offensive, hateful or inflammatory; or promote sexually explicit material; or promote violence; promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age; or infringe any copyright, database right or trade mark of any other person; or be likely to deceive any person; or be made in breach of any legal duty owed to a third party, such as a contractual duty or a duty of confidence; or promote any illegal activity; or be threatening, abuse or invade another’s privacy, or cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety; or be likely to harass, upset, embarrass, alarm or annoy any other person; or be used to impersonate any person, or to misrepresent your identity or affiliation with any person; or give the impression that they emanate from us, if this is not the case; or advocate, promote or assist any unlawful act such as (by way of example only) copyright infringement or computer misuse.
Nurturing a safe environment
Our Silversurfers community is designed to foster friendships, based on trust, honesty, integrity and loyalty and is underpinned by these values.
We don't tolerate swearing, and reserve the right to remove any posts which we feel may offend others... let's keep it friendly!