The diet industry mines the deep seam of emotion that surrounds our eating habits to sell a precision-calibrated hope that morality, appearance, lifestyle, wellness—almost anything, really—can be improved if only we put different things in our mouth. Such advice usually nourishes insecurity more than it does the body. It turns out that the history of bad dieting advice is long and strange and full of charlatans out to profit from our gullibility. It’s also a perfect example of the old adage, “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” Harriet Fitch Little examines its evolution. This essay appeared in Issue Twenty-Six in Winter 2017. https://api.spreaker.com/v2/episodes/24886501/download.mp3 — TwitterFacebookPinterest Related Stories Audio Diets Through the Ages A history of bad advice. Audio Rising Stars What does the future hold for astrology? Audio Beyond Monogamy How does non-monogamy work? Audio The History of Personality Tests Strongly agree, agree, or disagree? Audio A Guide to Sleep How sleep became the ultimate luxury. Audio The Great Influencer Scam Breaking down the logic of MLMs. Arts & Culture Issue 19 A Sense of Suspense With unhinged imaginations and mountains of cliff-hangers, the filmmakers behind the sci-fi podcast Limetown have all the makings of a scary story. Arts & Culture Tapping into Social Norms Five podcast episodes that interrogate the social codes that shape our behaviour. Fashion Music Partnerships Slow Sound Meet the musicians creating seasonal soundscapes from color swatches, in partnership with lifestyle brand Toast. Audio In Defense of Loneliness What’s the difference between loneliness and solitude? Audio The New Narcissism Should you learn to love thy selfie? Audio What happened to life hacking? On the rise and decline of an internet philosophy. Audio The Economy of Ideas Why is everyone reading Sapiens? Audio Algorithms: The Ultimate Influencer On the hidden forces that shape your taste. Audio A Gendered History of the Muse On women who inspire men.