Despite that the phenomenon began much before, few things probably set the standard better than one of the most characteristic elements of postwar Western societies as the weight loss diets, a perfect mirror where we can see the comes and goings of fashion and the market and its conflictive relation with the increasingly questioned scientific and media truths.
Firstly, although it´s not clear that things happen exactly in that order, we´ve been getting used to in a growing way, generation after generation, to consume large quantities of food which are high in saturated fat, additives, and colouring products and sweeteners of all types, at the same time that they tell us to consume them quickly (there´s no time to lose, we have to keep on producing and consuming, better not think too much about it) and they give us together with it a lifestyle which is more and more sedentary all the time.
It doesn´t seem unlikely that in these conditions we tend to gain weight and distance ourselves from our previously established ideal weight, and it´s then when a disproportionate media pressure is executed on us (especially on women, men are always allowed a more elevated number of things), to consume new products and miraculous formulas that will make us lose those extra pounds, by the way in which they´re presented we could label them unpleasant and obscene, equivalent to some sort of moral stain, in a harmonic way with that intimate connexion in some way present from the beginning between capitalism and religious puritanism – like in the Christian medieval mentality, and in general up until the 19th century, both the rich and poor were far from reflecting the moral value of the people, the development of capitalism and the supposed meritocracy which went with it, were investing the possession of the money and the superior moral qualities firmly establishing a patron according to which, financial failure was associated to moral shame and the lack of purchasing power was considered not only as something pitiful but also as fundamentally deserved.
The latest miraculous diet whose results have been left in evidence is the famous Dukan diet, eighty percent of whose followers, according to the National Health Security Agency of French Food (ANSES), don´t seem to recuperate their ideal weight in the first twelve months after the diet but they´re also susceptible to have kidney alterations and other health complications.
The studies of ANSES are along the lines of those who say that the non-adulterated Mediterranean diet (based on salads, vegetables, fruit, legumes, fish, little meat and around one or two glasses of wine per meal) is not only extremely pleasant but the one that guarantees stable weight loss, even when it´s enriched by some extra olive oil and nuts.
But why limit one self? If you rent apartments in Paris you´ll find out that in few places in the world you´ll find such a captivating and healthy culinary offering.
Translated by: aleixgwilliam