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'Insatiable' and 'Dietland' Couldn't Be More Different


This year marks the 100th anniversary of diet culture as we know it. Compared to the span of human activity and the arc of civilization, the propagation of the idea that fatness should be shaming is a relative blip on the historical calendar. Yes, diets have been around for millennia. St. Augustine of Hippo dieted. Lord Byron dieted. But diet culture itself—the widespread dissemination of the idea that bodies (specifically female ones) have a civic duty and moral imperative to reduce themselves, with tips for doing so—has its origins in 1918.

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