dieting

LIFE Magazine's Vintage Fat Shaming

In the 1950s, the term "fat shaming" had yet to be coined, but the demeaning practice was certainly alive and well. Even though the average waistline was slimmer then than now, LIFE magazine published a multi-page spread in its March 1954 edition on "The Plague of the Overweight," which led with the declaration that "The most serious health problem in the U.S. today is obesity." According to statistics compiled by insurance companies at the time, around 3 percent of post-World War II Americans were considered obese, and "[were] drastically prone to diabetes, gallstones, hernia, kidney and bladder impairments and complications during surgery and pregnancy"...

Do vegetarian and vegan diets affect menstrual cycles?

A Stuff Mom Never Told You listener wrote in a couple weeks ago inquiring whether vegetarian and/or vegan diets can affect a woman's periods. After doing some digging for studies and expert opinions, the simple answer is that there is no simple answer.

Can you freeze your way to rapid weight loss?

In 1903, fitness nut Bernarr Macfadden started the Coney Island Polar Bear Club for like-minded cold water swimming enthusiasts. Macfadden, millionaire author of the Encyclopedia of Physical Culture whose life motto was "weakness is a crime -- don't be a criminal!," counted bone-chilling swims as part of his multifaceted fitness regimen alongside periodic fasting, milk-drinking and long-distance walking. Taking a plunge in the frigid waters of the Atlantic Ocean off Coney Island jumpstarted the metabolism, Macfadden believed, and today, Polar Bear Club members still gather every Sunday from November 1 to May 1, following in Macfadden's breaststrokes, and though the freezing swims are more motivated for social and charitable reasons these days, Macfadden's notion of it stimulating weight loss has caught on among dieters and scientists alike.

When it comes to shedding pounds, men have an advantage: They lose weight faster and more easily than women do. Why? In this episode, Molly and Cristen examine the many variables that affect weight loss in general -- and female weight loss in particular.

Molly and Cristen discuss the phenomenon of dieting -- from early "fad" diets to a possible link between dieting and aging -- in this episode of Stuff Mom Never Told You.