Dietary Timeline

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Insurance emphasis on obesity.

"Medicine's interest in the subject of body weight was heightened by new information provided by the insurance industry. Insurance companies characteristically looked for criteria by which to judge the desirability of applicants.

Although companies certainly preferred to insure men of 'normal weight,' before 1900 they lacked a statistical basis for their opinion that overweight individuals experienced a higher rate of mortality than those of average weight. After the turn of the century the hypothesis that obesity shortened human life was substantiated by data analysed by doctors and statisticians."

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