The History of Weight Loss: Women in the 1940's

The history of weight loss is a strange subject to reflect upon during our modern age. Women went through various extremes to accomplish many things we can do with easy in our new era. This article explores the ways our society has changed for women since the 1940's and how we still have a ways to go. 

The History of Weight Loss

The history of weight loss starts in the typical 1930s kitchen stocked with different goods such as white bread, cane sugar, puffed rice, and bacon in a jar. These cabinets were full of canned goods like oats, coffee, Aunt Jemima's pancake mix, and marshmallows. A modern 1930s kitchen bragged one of the first gas stoves. This was much-improved over the wood or coal-fired stoves, because the coal-fire stoves were so smoky and smelly. A 1930s era refrigerator kept both cold and frozen things in it, and featured a compressor located in a cylinder on the top.

This replaced having to get the twice-weekly ice delivery and overflowing drip pans. Early electric mixers were popular, and sure did "beat" woman-powered mixers!

During the 1940s, women had some very interesting exercise routines. In those days, it was considered "unfeminine" for women to create muscles or to sweat. Under those circumstances, how could they exercise and lose weight? Well, the 1940s woman turned to an assortment of interesting exercise machines. One example of this type of machine was a platform with a looped belt. This belt would rub vigorously back and forth behind her derriere.

The theory of the machine is that it would tone and trim her body without any effort on her part whatsoever. Unfortunately, the only thing that the machines would flatten was the purchaser's bank account. For exercising a leisure outfit was fine, but it was worn only at home. A 40s woman never would have worn sweat pants or any kind of exercise clothing to a grocery store or elsewhere in public.

Dr. Pearsall’s Comment:

Wow! How times have changed—Thank Goodness! Although it would be fascinating to take a time machine to observe life in the 1940s, I certainly would not fit in with that time period as I enjoy wearing "leisure suits", sweating while exercising and building muscle mass and I'm not crazy about any of the food staples I saw in the 1940's kitchen.

I’m so glad I live in our modern times, where everyone eats of diet of pure, whole foods, and appreciates the value of getting daily exercise, sweating and building muscle mass.J Ok, I’m being facetious; most people have strayed so far from a natural, healthy lifestyle, they don’t even know where to begin. (I used to be one of those people by the way.)

My hope is that with, we’ll have able to teach the masses how to go back to a natural, healthy lifestyle so that someday they’ll have museums showing our lifestyle in the 2010s and 20s. Our lifestyle will have a kitchen full of fresh whole foods, maybe a juicer and a Vita-mix and a home gym showing mannequins working out and drinking nutrition shakes and looking fantastic and fit.

About the Author:
Dr. Kendra Pearsall, N.M.D. is a Naturopathic Medical Doctor specializing in natural weight loss and food addiction. She created to help millions of people achieve optimal health, natural weight loss and life success with her free weekly e-newsletter (sign up at the top of this page.)