How People Lost Weight in the Time of 'Mad Men'

April 16, 2013

Followers of Mad Men have seen Betty Francis go through a bit of a transformation, from being Don Draper's gorgeous former-model wife, to becoming a conservative wife of a politician. Through the transformation, we've seen Betty (played by January Jones) struggle with her weight and her attempts to shed some pounds through various diet techniques. 

Today Health did some digging and found what diets were really like in the 1960s. One diet that made waves in 1964 is The Drinking Man's Diet, which consisted of drinking as much alcohol as you want, but staying away from carbs. Another popular diet book was Calories Don't Count. This was a low-carb, high-fat diet that had followers eating up to 5,000 calories a day. The catch was adding three ounces of safflower oil to every meal. 

Then there was The Doctor's Quick Weight Loss Diet. This one was much less attractive -- a single day on the diet consisted of just one hard boiled egg, 8 ounces of milk, 3.5 ounces of salad with no dressing and 8 glasses of water. That was it. No other food was allowed and dieters were encourage to follow the diet "for as long as you could take it." 

The Mad Men era also saw the infant formula diet and the beginning of groups like Weight Waters and Overeaters Anonymous. 

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AnneHartung's picture

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