Dietary Timeline

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Late 1500s/Early 1600s

Around this time, the "miraculous maids" phenomenon attracts a lot of interest from doctors and the clergy in Europe.

"When a young woman asserted that she did not eat, the claim had to be verified because, first, it raised the possibility of miracles (or satanic influence) and, second, it implied autonomy or 'radical holiness' on the part of the faster, a dangerous concept in the highly structured and deferential society of the early modern period. Consequently, miraculous maidens stimulated round-the-clock investigations conducted not only by clergymen but by civil magistrates, physicians, dukes, bishops, even kings..
Authenticity was an emerging concern in seventeenth century stories, and apparently in real life as well. In Germany in the sixteenth century, a fasting maiden was executed when it was discovered that she actually did eat on the sly."

Brumberg, J.J. (1988) Fasting Girls; The emergence of anorexia nervosa as a modern disease. Harvard University Press. USA.