One-Hundred-Year Advice on How to Avoid Overeating

16-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Wednesday, January 31, 1912:  Nothing much for today. I am lagging in Algebra. I won’t make ninety this month. That’s positive. I received my pictures today. I was rather astonished at the immensity of the girl thereon.

Farewell for January.

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Grandma and her sister Ruth got their pictures taken when they went to Milton on January 20. At that time Grandma worried that she would look heavy–she must have gained weight over the holidays—and it seems like the photos confirmed her worst fears.

Grandma probably decided to go on a diet.

A hundred years ago people believed that the key to losing weight was to chew (fletcherize) their food more thoroughly so that they would feel full while eating less.

Here’s some more hundred year old advice on how to avoid overeating:

It is not that the average woman eats too much, but that she does not eat the right kind of things.  . . She eats too many sweets, in the form of pastry, cake, or candy.

The chief factors leading to overeating are the uses of wines and condiments at dinner and elaborate course dinners. The first two overstimulate the appetite, and the great variety offered by the latter tempt the appetite, and make it possible to eat more than one could if the bill of fare were more limited and simple.

Personal Hygiene and Physical Training for Women  (1911) by Anna Galbraith

6 thoughts on “One-Hundred-Year Advice on How to Avoid Overeating

  1. The quote by Anna Galbraith is still neccessary and applicable to modern day good Healthstyle habit.

  2. Well, Anna Galbraith, you’re pretty much ‘on the money’. I bet they never dreamed the percentage of the population that would be overweight in 2012.

    1. It seems like many fewer young people were overweight a hundred years ago. Much of the information from the early 1900s about being overweight was aimed at women who were 40 or older. Overweight women were generally referred to as “stout” women back then.

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