The Weight of History

A sensible serving of dieting highlights.

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1963: Weight Watchers founded by a Queens woman whose friends helped her curb cookie cravings.

Martini Glass

1964: The Drinking Man’s Diet advocates martini lunches, sells 2.4 million copies in 13 languages.

1972: Dr. Atkins’ Diet Revolution is published.
The American Medical Association calls it a “serious threat to health.”

1977: Slim-Fast promotes its “shake for breakfast, a shake for lunch, and a sensible dinner” mantra.

The Last Chance Diet recommends abstaining from all food except a protein drink of ground animal horns, hooves, hides, tendons, and bones. It sells 2.5 million copies.

Slim Fast

1980: Dr. Herman Tarnower, the creator of the wildly popular Scarsdale Diet, is murdered by his lover.

1981: Fruit-heavy Beverly Hills Diet craze attracts followers such as Jack Nicholson, Jodie Foster, Maria Shriver, and crooner Engelbert Humperdinck.

1988: A 145-lb Oprah displays 67 lbs of animal fat—equivalent to the weight she lost on a liquid protein diet.

1992: Oprah hits 237 lbs, hires fitness guru Bob Greene.
Oprah Winfrey
Dr. Atkins releases his New Diet Revolution, one of the top 50 best-selling books of all time.

1996: Fat substitute olestra hits the market amid reports of “anal leakage.”

2002: 280-lb Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee is told he has 10 years to live. He loses 110 lbs, starts anti-obesity crusade.

2004: Bill Clinton says he lost 35 lbs with the South Beach Diet and “working out with a German man.”

2005: Atkins Nutritionals declares bankruptcy.

2007: US diet industry reaches $58 billion.

2004: Americans spend $46 billion on diet products.

2004: 13% of Americans try low-carb diets. Krispy Kreme blames its losses on Atkins. A Florida man sues Atkins for a blocked coronary artery.

Slim Shady

2008: Eminem, a.k.a. Slim Shady, turns down Slim-Fast’s offer to be its spokesman.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

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