The past, present and future of food

From BBC Future, 8 November 2016:

You look amazing – are you banting?”

In the 1860s there was only one diet, and it was the Banting. Conceived of by a corpulent English undertaker and coffin-maker called William Banting – who was clearly well positioned to observe the consequences of over-indulgence – it became the first popular diet.

Banting advocated reduced consumption of starchy and sugary carbohydrates and up to six ounces of meat a day – but no pork, as it was thought to contain carbs – all washed down with two or three glasses of good claret.

Since Banting’s time, the number of popular diets has skyrocketed. There have been any number of miracle foods, weight-loss tricks and single-ingredient solutions but how many of these have actually changed the way we eat? This is one of the questions that will be addressed at the BBC Future’s World Changing Ideas Summit in Sydney in November. Read more.

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