Although the Seventh Day Adventist movement had been in existence since 1830, it was a vision that appeared to Ellen White, one of its founding members, that was believed to have dictated the group's dietary governance. Meat in general was to be avoided, particularly from pigs. They believed that the consumption of pork was largely responsible for the decline of the human race.
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Writer Hester Pendleton notes a new trend for thinness among young ladies of the British and American aristocracy.
"So perverted are the tastes of some persons," Pendleton wrote, "that delicacy of constitution is considered a badge of aristocracy, and daughters would feel themselves deprecated by too robust health."
Pendleton, H. (1863) Husband and Wife; or, the science of human development through inherited characteristics New York. USA. cited in Brumberg, J.J. (1988) Fasting Girls; The emergence of anorexia nervosa as a modern disease. Harvard University Press. USA.