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Diets and Dieting:
A History of Weight Loss in America

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Science, Technology, and Business Division
Library of Congress




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Weight Loss: More than Numbers on the Scales. Photo from the Website.


Highly Relevant

Diet, reducing--History--United States
Diet fads--History--United States
Reducing diets--Recipes
Reducing diets--United States--History
Weight loss--United States
Weight loss--United States--History
Weight loss preparations industry--United States--History


Complex carbohydrate diet
Diet therapy
Low-calorie diet
Low-carbohydrate diet
Low-fat diet
Sugar-free diet


Food habits--United States--History
Obesity--History--United States
Obesity--United States



Bijlefeld, Marjolihljn. Encyclopedia of diet fads. Westport, CT, Greenwood Press, 2003. 242 p.
   RM222.2.B535 2003 <SciRR>

Foxcroft, Louise. Calories & corsets: a history of dieting over 2,000 years. London, Profile Books, 2011. 232 p.
   Bibliography: p. 214-218.
   RM222.2.F68 2011

The Gale encyclopedia of diets: a guide to health and nutrition. 2nd ed. Krisitn Key, editor. Detroit, Gale, Cengage learning, c2013. 2 v.
   Includes bibliographical references.
   RA784.G345 2013 <SciRR>

Gilman, Sander L. Diets and dieting: a cultural encyclopedia. New York, Routledge, 2008. 308 p.    Bibliography: p. 291-294.
   RM214.5.G55 2008 <SciRR>

Gilman, Sander L. Fat: a cultural history of obesity. Cambridge, UK, Malden, MA, Polity, 2008. 237 p.
   Bibliography: p. 175-223.
   RC628.G535 2008

Gratzer, W. B. (Walter Bruno). Terrors of the table: the curious history of nutrition. Oxford, New York, Oxford University Press, c2005. 288 p.
   Bibliography: p. 260-269.
   RA784.G725 2005 <SciRR>

The Oxford encyclopedia of food and drink in America. 2nd ed. Andrew F. Smith, editor in chief. Oxford, New York, Oxford University Press, c2013. 3 v.
   TX349.E45 2013 <SciRR>

Schwartz, Hillel. Never satisfied: a cultural history of diets, fantasies, and fat. New York, Free Press; London, Collier Macmillan, c1986. 468 p.
   Bibliography: p. 343-451.
   1990 ed. not in LC.
   RM222.2.S357 1986

Segrave, Kerry. Obesity in America, 1850-1939: a history of social attitudes and treatment. Jefferson, NC, McFarland & Co., c2008. 202 p.
   Bibliography: p. 189-196.
   RC628.S438 2008

Stearns, Peter N. Fat history: bodies and beauty in the modern West. New York, New York University Press, c1997. 294 p.
   Bibliography: p. 261-287.
   RM222.2.S755 1997

Women and health in America: historical readings. Edited by Judith Walzer Leavitt. 2nd ed. Madison, University of Wisconsin Press, c1999. 692 p.
   "A Guide for Further Reading": p. 683-692.
   Includes bibliographical references.
   RA778.W744 1999

Yager, Susan. The hundred year diet: America’s voracious appetite for losing weight. New York, Rodale, c2010. 260 p.
   Bibliography: p. 223-226.
   RM222.2.Y24 2010



Banting, William. Letter on corpulence, addressed to the public. 4th ed. New York, Mohun, Ebbs & Hough, Booksellers and Importers, 1864. 36 p.

Blythe, Samuel G. (Samuel George). The fun of getting thin. Chicago, Forbes & Company, 1912. 68 p.

Booher, James Mathew, M.D., ed. Scientific weight control; an improved system for reducing or increasing weight, together with an explanation of the benefits to be gained from weighing daily. Chicago Continental Scale Works, 1925. 104 p.
   At head of title: "Weigh yourself daily."

Bundesen, Herman Niels. Your greatest wealth is health. Chicago, Shrewesbury Publishing Co., c1928. 184 p.
Drawing of an obsese man with a hat tucked under his arm.
A large gentleman with a walking stick. 1829. Credit: Wellcome Images, Wellcome Library.
Bundesen, Herman Niels, and Corinne Manry. The road to health. Chicago, San Francisco, Laidlaw Brothers. c1932-

Cooley, Donald Gray. The new way to eat and get slim. New York, W. Funk, 1941. 208 p.

Dorfman, Wilfred, and Doris Johnson. Overweight is curable. New York, Macmillan Co., 1948. 160 p.

Eat and get slim. New York, Your Health Publications, Inc., c19??
   Library of Congress has 1944, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1950, 1951, 1953, 1955, and 1956 editions.

Finck, Henry Theophilus. Girth control, for womanly beauty, manly strength, health and a long life for everybody. New York, London, Harper & Brothers, 1923. 342 p.

Fletcher, Horace. Glutton or epicure. Chicago, New York, H. S. Stone & Company, 1899. 2 v. in 1.
   1903 edition available in HathiTrust -

Friedel, Herman. You can be thin! Slenderness through psychology. New York, Caxton House, c1948. 117 p.

Gaertner, Gustav. Reducing weight comfortably; the dietetic treatment of obesity. Philadelphia, London, J. B. Lippincott Company, c1914. 313 p.

Hay, William Howard. Health via food. East Aurora, NY, 1929. 299 p.

Kebler, Lyman F. (Lyman Frederic). Eat and keep fit: preventing and controlling overweight, acidosis and constipation. Washington, L. F. Kebler, c1930. 302 p.

Kellogg, John Harvey. The Battle Creek sanitarium diet list. Battle Creek, MI, Modern Medicine Pub. Co., 1909. 71 p.

MacLevy, Monty, and Walter Hollis Eddy. Pounds off! By Monty MacLevy, with Dr. Eddy's reducing diet. New York, Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1942. 193 p.

Peters, Lulu Hunt. Diet and health, with key to the calories. Chicago, The Reilly and Britton Co. c1918.

Reeder, Albert. Obesity and the cure. Boston, Albert Reeder’s Institute of Curative Movements, 1891. 16 p.

Sadler, William Samuel and Lena K. Sadler. Diets and food values: how to reduce and how to gain. Chicago, The Health Press, 1930. 271 p.
   RC813.S3 1930

Yorke-Davies, Nathaniel Edward. Foods for the fat: a treatise on corpulency and a dietary for its cure. American ed. Philadelphia, J. B. Lippincott Company, 1889. 138 p.
   RC813.Y65 1889



Abraham, S. Daniel and Joseph Telushkin. Everything is possible: life and business lessons from a self-made billionaire and founder of Slim-Fast. With Joseph Telushkin. New York, Newmarket Press, c2010. 240 p.
   HD9675.W444S453 2010

Atkins, Robert C. Atkins for life: the complete controlled carb program for permanent weight loss and good health. New York, St. Martins Press, c2003. 370 p.
   Bibliography: 364-367.
   RM237.73.A827 2003

Craig, Jenny. The Jenny Craig story: how one woman changes millions of lives. Hoboken, NJ, John Wiley & Sons, c2004. 211 p.
   RM222.2.C7173 2004

A Defence of the Graham system of living: or, remarks on diet and regimen. Dedicated to the rising generation. By Sylvester Graham. New York, W. Applegate, 1835. 200 p.

Fletcher, Horace. Fletcherism: What it is, or, how I became young at sixty. New York, Frederick A. Stokes Company, c1913. 224 p.
   QP141.F63 1913a

Lindlahr, Victor Hugo. Eat---and reduce! New York, Prentice-Hall, 1939. 194 p.

Nidetch, Jean. The story of Weight Watchers. Jean Nidetch as told to Joan Rattner Heilman. New York, New American Library, c1979. 164 p.
   RC628.N5 1979

Null, Gary. Gary Null’s Ultimate lifetime diet: a revolutionary all-natural program for losing weight and building a healthy body. New York, Broadway Books, c2000. 708 p.
   RM222.2.N85 2000

NutriSystem nourish: the revolutionary new weight-loss program. NutriSystem and Dr. James Rouse. Hoboken, NJ, John Wiley & Sons, 2004. 255 p.
   RM222.2.N88 2004

Overeaters Anonymous, Inc. (U.S.). Overeaters Anonymous. Rio Rancho, NM, Overeaters Anonymous, 2001. 251 p.
   RC628.O9 2001

Pritikin, Nathan, and Patrick M. McGrady, Jr. The Pritikin program for diet & exercise. New York, Grosset & Dunlap, c1979. 425 p.
   Bibliography: p. 380-389.

Schwarz, Richard W. John Harvey Kellogg, M.D. Nashville, TN, Southern Pub. Association, 1970. 256 p.
   A revision of the author’s thesis, University of Michigan.
   R154.K265S3 1970

Tarnower, Herman, and Samm Sinclair Baker. The complete Scarsdale medical diet plus Dr. Tarnower’s lifetime keep-slim program. New York, Rawson, Wade Publishers, c1978. 244 p.
   RM222.2.T317 1978



Booth, Sally Smith. Hung, strung & potted; a history of eating in colonial America. New York, C. N. Potter; Distributed by Crown Publishers, 1971. 238 p.
   Bibliography: p. 223-229.
   TX645.B66 1971

Brenner, Leslie. American appetite: the coming of age of a cuisine. New York, Bard, 1999. 370 p.
   Includes bibliographical references.
   TX633.B694 1999

Bundy, Beverly. The century in food: America's fads and favorites. Portland, OR, Collectors Press, c2002. 192 p.
   Bibliography: p. 192.
   TX633.B86 2003

Carson, Gerald. Cornflake crusade. New York, Rinehart & Company, Inc., 1957. 305 p.
   "Sources and authorities": p. 261-288.

Christian, Eugene. Pounds off; a system of weight control for health, beauty and efficiency. New York, MacFadden Book Company, c1930. 8 v.

Cooking lessons: the politics of gender and food. Edited by Sherrie A. Inness. Lanham, MD, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, c2001. 203 p.
   Includes bibliographical references.
   GT2853.U5C66 2001

DuPuis, E. Melanie (Erna Melanie). Nature's perfect food: how milk became America's drink. New York, New York University Press, c2002. 310 p.
   Bibliography: p. 271-296.
   GT2920.M55D86 2002

Fishbein, Morris, ed. Reducing; the complete guide to safe, scientific weight control. (Your weight and how to control it). Garden City, NY, Garden City Books, 1951, c1949. 276 p.
    RM222.2.F5 1951

Flammang, Janet A. The taste for civilization: food, politics, and civil society. Urbana, University of Illinois Press, c2009. 325 p.
   Includes bibliographical references.
   GT2853.U5F57 2009

The Food of a younger land: a portrait of American food: before the national highway system, before chain restaurants, and before frozen food, when the nation's food was seasonal, regional, and traditional: from the lost WPA files. Edited and illustrated by Mark Kurlansky. New York, Riverhead Books, 2009. 397 p.
   Bibliography: p. 386-387.
   TX715.F685 2009

Haber, Barbara. From hardtack to home fries: an uncommon history of American cooks and meals. New York, Free Press, c2002. 244 p.
   Bibliography: p. 223-236.
   TX360.U6H33 2002 <SciRR>

Hooker, Richard James. Food and drink in America: a history. Indianapolis, Bobbs-Merrill, c1981. 436 p.
   Includes bibliographical references.
   GT2853.U5H66 <SciRR>

Humphrey, Richard V. Antique eating. Kingston, MA, Teaparty Books, c1985. 2 v.
   Bibliography: v. 2, p. 64-69.
   TX715.H8945 1985

Ichord, Loretta Frances. Pasta, fried rice, and matzoh balls: immigrant cooking in America. Minneapolis, MN, Millbrook Press, c2006. 64 p.
   Bibliography: p. 59-62.
   TX360.U6I24 2006

Kaufman, Frederick. A short history of the American stomach. Orlando, FL, Harcourt, c2008. 205 p.
   GT498.S76K48 2008

Kitchen culture in America: popular representations of food, gender, and race. Edited by Sherrie A. Inness. Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania Press, c2001. 286 p.
   Bibliography: p. 268-269.
   GT2853.U5K57 2001

Levenstein, Harvey A. Revolution at the table: the transformation of the American diet. Berkeley, University of California Press, c2003. 275 p. (California studies in food and culture, 7)
   Originally published: New York, Oxford University Press, 1988.
   Bibliography: p. 213-260.
   GT2853.U5L48 2003

McCauley, Louise Pipher. America cooks: an album of recipes, food history and folklore. Written and compiled by Louise Pipher McCauley, with the culinary assistance of the ladies and friends of Emigrant Trail Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution. Auburn, CA, Oak Rose House Pub., c2001. 314 p.
   Includes bibliographical references.
   TX715.M127 2001

McIntosh, Elaine N. American food habits in historical perspective. Westport, CT, Praeger, 1995. 251 p.
   Bibliography: p. 227-238.
   GT2853.U5M39 1995

McLean, Alice L. Cooking in America, 1840-1945. Westport, CT, Greenwood Press, 2006. 194 p. (The Greenwood Press "Daily life through history" series. Cooking up history)
   Bibliography: p. 179-183.
   TX715.M47445 2006 <SciRR>

McWilliams, James E. A revolution in eating: how the quest for food shaped America. New York, Columbia University Press, c2005. 386 p. (Arts and traditions of the table)
   Bibliography: p. 323-377.
   TX633.M3 2005

Pillsbury, Richard. No foreign food: the American diet in time and place. Boulder, CO, Westview Press, 1998. 262 p. (Geographies of the imagination)
   Bibliography: p. 243-251.
   TX360.U6P55 1998

Schremp, Geraldine. Celebration of American food: four centuries in the melting pot. Golden, CO, Fulcrum Pub., c1996. 146 p. (Library of Congress classics)
   "Published in cooperation with the Library of Congress."
   Bibliography: p. 127-130.
   TX360.U6S37 1996

Smith, Andrew F. Eating history: 30 turning points in the making of American cuisine. New York, Columbia University Press, c2009. 376 p. (Arts and traditions of the table)
   Bibliography: p. 347-363.
   TX715.S651315 2009

Williams, Elmer Lynn, ed. "That man Bundesen." Chicago, 1931. 222 p.


Atkins, Robert C. Dr. Atkins' diet revolution; the high calorie way to stay thin forever. New York, D. McKay Co., 1972.

Berman, Sam S. The Boston police diet and weight control program. New York, F. Fell, c1972. 137 p.
   RM222.2.B457 1972

Cordain, Loren. The Paleo diet: lose weight and get healthy by eating the food you were designed to eat. New York, J. Wiley, c2002. 257 p.
   Bibliography: p. 221-241.
   RM237.65.C67 2002

Cunningham, Tricia, and Heidi Skolnik. The reverse diet: lose 20, 50, 100 pounds or more by eating dinner for breakfast and breakfast for dinner. Hoboken, NJ, J. Wiley, c2007. 260 p.
   RM222.2.C86 2007

D'Adamo, Peter, and Catherine Whitney. Eat right 4 (for) your type, the individualized diet solution to staying healthy, living longer & achieving your ideal weight: 4 blood types, 4 diets. New York, G. P. Putnam's Sons, c1996. 392 p.
   Bibliography: p. 372-379.
   QP98.D33 1996

Dukan, Pierre. The Dukan diet. (Je ne sais pas maigrir.) London, Hodder & Stoughton, 2010. 364 p.
   RM222.2.D7413 2010

Field, Richard Mitchell. The complete book of diets for all ages including medical dietetic suggestions for 325 common ailments. Garden City, NY, Doubleday, Doran, 1942. 272 p.

Frances, Evan. Ladies’ home journal family diet book. New York, Macmillan, 1973. 294 p.

Isaacs, Scott. The leptin boost diet: unleash your fat-controlling hormones for maximum weight loss. Berkeley, CA, Ulysses; Enfield, Distributed by Publishers Group West, c2007. 240 p.
   RM222.2.I73 2007

Jameson, Gardener. The drinking man’s diet. San Francisco, Cameron, 1965, c1964. 54 p.

Mazel, Judy. The Beverly Hills diet. New York, Macmillan, c1981. 262 p.

McConnell, Carol, and Malcolm McConnell. The Mediterranean diet: wine, pasta, olive oil, and a long healthy life. New York, Norton, c1987. 224 p.
   Bibliography: p. 201-211.
   RA784.M39 1987

McCord, Holly. Prevention’s the peanut butter diet. New York, St. Martin’s Paperbacks, c2001. 226 p.
   RM222.2.M4335 2001

Miller, Peter M. (Peter Michael). The Hilton Head metabolism diet. New York, Warner Books, c1983. 249 p.
   RM222.2.M523 1983

Pescatore, Fred. The Hamptons diet: lose weight quickly and safely with the doctor’s delicious meal plans. Hoboken, NJ, J. Wiley, c2004. 244 p.
   RM222.2.P4358 2004

Rolls, Barbara J. The volumetrics eating plan: techniques and recipes for feeling full on fewer calories. New York, Harper, c2007. 316 p.
   Bibliography: p. 297-300.
   RM222.2.R6275 2007

Sears, Barry, and Bill Lawren. The zone: a dietary road map. New York, Regan Books, c1995. 286 p.
   RM222.2.S39 1995

Siegal, Sanford. Dr. Siegal's natural fiber permanent weight-loss diet. New York, Dial Press, 1975, 289 p.
   Includes bibliographical references

Squires, Sally. Secrets of the Lean Plate Club: a simple step-by step program to help you shed pounds and keep them off for good. New York, St. Martins Press, 2006. 333 p.
   RM222.2.S72 2006

Thompson, Rob. The glycemic load diet: a powerful new program for losing weight and reversing insulin resistance. New York, McGraw-Hill, c2006. 225 p.
   Bibliography: p. 211-215.
   RM222.2.T4847 2006

Wade, Carlson. Slimfasting: the quick "pounds off" way to youthful slimness. West Nyack, NY, Parker Pub. Co., c1977. 255 p.

Wurtman, Judith J., and Nina Frusztajer Marquis. The serotonin power diet: use your brain’s natural chemistry to cut cravings, curb emotional overeating, and lose weight. New York, Rodale; Distributed to the book trade by Holtzbrinck Publishers, c2006. 290 p.
   Includes bibliographical references.
   RM237.58.W87 2006

Zinczenko, David. The abs diet: the six-week plan to flatten your stomach and keep you lean for life. Emmaus, PA, Rodale, c2004. 287 p.
   RA781.A193 2004



Agatson, Arthur. The South Beach diet super quick cookbook: 200 easy solutions for everyday meals. Emmaus, PA, Rodale, c2010. 309 p.
   RM222.2.A34964 2010

Alexander, Devin, and Melissa Roberson. The Biggest Loser family cookbook: budget-friendly meals your whole family will love. Devin Alexander and the Biggest Loser experts and cast with Melissa Roberson. Emmaus, PA, Rodale, c2009. 230 p.
   Bibliography: p. 213.
   TX652.A3844 2009

Bailey, Covert. The fit-or-fat target diet. Boston, Houghton Mifflin, 1984. 134 p.
   RM222.2.B343 1984

Crocker, Betty. Betty Crocker win at weight loss cookbook: a healthy guide for the whole family. Hoboken, NJ, Wiley Pub., c2006. 263 p.
   On cover: James Hill and Susan J. Crockett.
   Previous ed. published as Betty Crocker's eat and lose weight.
   RM222.2.C7493 2006

Dieter's cookbook: our 500 best low-calorie recipes. Assembled by Deborrah A. Hasche; edited by Betty A. Blair. Los Angeles, Weight Loss Clinic International, c1984. 193 p.
   RM222.2.D56 1984

Gibbons, Barbara. Diet watchers cookbook. With the editors of Consumer guide. New York, Harper & Row, c1978. 130 p.
   RM222.2.G49 1978

Hill, Rachael Anne, and Tamsin Burnett-Hall. The powerfood cookbook: great recipes for high energy and healthy weight-loss. London, New York, Ryland Peters & Small, c2007. 127 p.
   TX714.H5486 2007

Jenkins, Nancy Harmon.  The new Mediterranean diet cookbook: a delicious alternative for lifelong health.  New York, Bantam Books, c2009.  496 p.     
   Previous edition published under the title: The Mediterranean diet cookbook.
   Bibliography: p. 479-481.
   TX725.M35J46 2009

Lindlahr, Victor Hugo. 201 tasty dishes for reducers, including the famous Victor H. Lindlahr 7-day reducing diet. New York, Journal of Living, 1948. 128 p. (Help-in-living book, no. 1)
   RM222.2.L516 1948

Kain, Ida Jean, and Mildred B. Gibson. Stay slim for life: diet cookbooks for overweight millions; low fat calorie menus and recipes. Garden City, NY, Doubleday, 1958. 216 p.
   Includes bibliographical references.

Miller, Llewellyn. Reducing cookbook and diet guide. Foreword by Frances M. Telsey. New York, Crowell, c1952. 262 p.
   RM222.2.M5 1952

New dieter's cook book. Des Moines, IA, Better Homes and Gardens Books, c1992. 480 p.
   RM222.2.N476 1992

Simmons, Richard, and Winifred Morice. Deal-a-meal cook book. Beverly Hills, CA, Deal-a-Meal, Inc., c1987. 163 p.
   RM222.2.S544 1987

Weight Watchers all-time favorites: over 200 best-ever recipes from the Weight Watchers test kitchens. Hoboken, NJ, Wiley, c2008. 302 p.
   RM222.2.W31135 2008

Weight Watchers new complete cookbook.  Bonus ed.  Hoboken, NJ, Wiley, 2012.  436 p.
   RM222.2.W3218 2012b



Granberg, Ellen. "Is that all there is?" Possible selves, self-change, and weight loss. Social psychology quarterly, v. 69, June 2006: 109-126.

Green, Andrew J. Fox, Kathleen, M., and Grandy, Susan. Impact of regular exercise and attempted weight loss on quality of life among adults with and without type 2 diabetes mellitus. Journal of obesity, v. 2011.

Hayenga, Elizabeth Sharon. Dieting through the decades: a comparative study of weight reduction in America as depicted in popular literature and books from 1940 to the late 1980's. University of Minnesota, 1988. 678 p.
   Includes a bibliography--segmented by the decade--of popular magazine articles and books on the topic.
   AAT 8910997

Jou, Chin. Controlling consumption: the origins of modern American ideas about food, eating, and fat, 1886-1930. Princeton University, 2009. 261 p.
   AAT 3378017

Jutel, Annemarie. Does size really matter?: weight and values in public health. Perspectives in biology and medicine, v. 44, spring 2001: 283-296.

La Berge, Ann F. How the ideology of low fat conquered America. Journal of the history of medicine and allied sciences, v. 63, Apr. 2008: 139-177.

Martin, Corby K., O’Neil, Patrick M., and Binks, Martin. An attempt to identify predictors of treatment outcome in two comprehensive weight loss programs. Eating behaviors, v. 3, autumn 2002: 239–248.

Miller-Kovach, Karen. She loses, he loses: the truth about men, women, and weight loss. Hoboken, NJ, John Wiley & Sons, c2007. 242 p. (WeightWatchers she loses, he loses)
   Bibliography: p. 213-231.
   RM222.2.W3252 2007

Oliver, J. Eric. The politics of pathology: how obesity became an epidemic disease. Perspectives in biology and medicine, v. 49, autumn 2006: 611-627.

Smit, Hendrik Jan, Kemsley, and others. Does prolonged chewing reduce food intake? Fletcherism revisited. Appetite, v. 57, Aug 2011: 295-298.

Vester, Katharina. Regime change: gender, class, and the invention of dieting in post-bellum America. Journal of social history, v. 44, fall 2010: 39-70.
   Explores diet advice literature from the 1860s to the early 1900s.

Complied by Michelle Cadoree Bradley, ST&B, Dec. 2010, rev. June 2014

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