By Louise Foxcroft

Today we're prompt from either side to slender down and form up, to shed a number of kilos or lose life-threatening stones. The media's relentless obsession with dimension should be perceived as a twenty-first-century phenomenon, yet as award-winning historian Louise Foxcroft exhibits, we've got been suffering from what to devour, whilst and what sort of, ever because the Greeks and the Romans first pinched an inch.

Meticulously researched, astonishing and occasionally stunning, Calories and Corsets tells the epic tale of our complex courting with nutrition, the models and fads of physique form, and the way cultural ideals and social norms have replaced through the years. Combining study from clinical journals, letters, articles and the eating plan bestsellers we proceed to consume (including one via an octogenarian Italian within the 16th century), Foxcroft finds the extraordinary and infrequently absurd lengths humans will visit on the way to in attaining the suitable physique, from consuming carbolic cleaning soap to chewing each morsel hundreds and hundreds of occasions to a tasteless pulp.

This particular and witty heritage exposes the myths and anxieties that force latest multi-billion pound food plan - and gives a welcome viewpoint on how we will be able to be fit and satisfied in our bodies.

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