The Latest Forum Posts

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

We are a generation of over-fed gluttons, gorging on our abundance like never before. Or that, at least, is what the experts will have us believe.

It is easy for us to forget King Edward VII ruled over a nation of 'gluttons' and some of the the food fads of our middle-class ancestors 100 years ago made modern indulgence seem like a detox regime. A typical breakfast would feature kedgeree, kippers, sausage, poached egg, devilled kidneys, fruit and endless rounds of buttered toast.
Lunch, meanwhile, would be a three-course affair, followed by a tea of cakes, buttered bread and scones.But dinner was always the piece de resistance - with as many as eight courses.

I guess it's not surprising that those times produced perhaps the most revolting diet in history. A fashionable regime from Edwardian times required participants to chew everything precisely 32 times, before tilting the head backwards to allow the masticated food to slide down.

This idea was first put forward by an American, Horace Fletcher - a marksman, athlete and painter, who had become so fat he was refused life insurance in 1895.

By then he weighed more than 141/2st, but after just four months of using the chewchew method, he had shed more than 40lb.

Fletcher believed food must be chewed to be absorbed into the body's system healthily.

Hasty eating, he believed, resulted in undigested food clogging up the system, which led to constipation and the colon becoming a dangerous cesspool of bacteria.

This was an era obsessed by the evils of constipation.

Fletcher's great friend was John Harvey Kellogg, who in 1906 launched the staple of most people's breakfasts even today - cornflakes.

This daily intake of roughage was intended to oil the system and Kellogg's bran was designed to scour the intestines.

Kellogg also ran a sanatorium where people went to lose weight, through cold rain douches, sweating packs and plunge baths, along with rigorous exercise.

Interestingly, on Fletcher's diet you can eat anything - and as much of it as you like - but chewing takes so long, the desire to eat diminishes and you eat less.

Revolting, it may be. But it's certainly effective.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Find us at again at