Conserve Food for the Troops: Diet

Source: Good Housekeeping (September, 1918)

I’ve dieted over the years for many reasons: to look better, to be healthier, to be a good example for others. But there’s one reason I never considered: dieting to support our soldiers.

According to a hundred-year-old issue of Good Housekeeping, we should diet to support the troops. During World War I, a lot of food needed to be shipped to Europe to feed the troops, and there were food shortages in the U.S. The magazine had a regular feature with Kewpie cartoons. The Kewpies were supposed to be baby cupid figures and were very popular at the time. (There also are Kewpie dolls.)  The title of the Kewpie cartoons in the September, 1918 issue was “The Kewpies and Food Conservation.”

14 thoughts on “Conserve Food for the Troops: Diet

  1. 😂 love this ad!all those kewpie figures..especially the one hanging off the side of the table,and the one looking at its own belly…button!😁 Diet.. somehow I was never fond of that word.

  2. Those are kewpies? I’ve seen the word, knew that they were little elf-like beings, but didn’t know that had an official shape. Not the point of your post, I realize– but interesting to me.

    Also, I’ve never thought to diet to help the troops. Different times, eh?

  3. Wonderful drawing! The signature seems to imply that Rose O’Neill made it herself, but it’s well in the style of Winsor McCoy or another of the great masters in those days.

  4. I didn’t realize that dieting was considered a way to support the troops! I’d heard of victory gardens, and of course rationing, but didn’t realize dieting was also encouraged.

  5. That’s so interesting. I wonder if it actually helped. In a way, it reminds me of fasting during Lent and giving the money you save on food to the poor.

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