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The Metamorphoses of FatA History of Obesity$
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Georges Vigarello

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780231159760

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231159760.001.0001

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Toning Up

Toning Up

Chapter:
(p.99) 11. Toning Up
Source:
The Metamorphoses of Fat
Author(s):

Georges Vigarello

, C. Jon Delogu
Publisher:
Columbia University Press
DOI:10.7312/columbia/9780231159760.003.0011

This chapter describes eighteenth-century treatments for the fat person. New slimming programs focused on the image of powerlessness and the theme of a collapse that favored fat buildup. An illness explained as a slackening of tissues logically called for a remedy based on their reinforcement. This resulted in anti-obesity toning formulas and stimulants all designed to “fortify” the flesh in order to better eliminate all excess. This also led to a diversification of practices that gave greater importance to exercise and elevated the discovery of electricity and the promise of it improving the tone of limbs and skin. Diet now became the focus of numerous debates. Questions arose, for example, about the consumption of light, delicate, and juicy (de bon suc) meat. It was considered a tonic by some, but “dangerous” by others. Choices multiplied and options competed with each other. There were arguments with a “qualitative” approach to diet before modern chemistry eventually made them more “objective”.

Keywords:   fat, fat people, slimming programs, anti-obesity recipes, tonics, stimulants, exercise, electricity

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