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Who Had the Strangest Diet in History?

Diet plans range from the restrictive to the radical, but it would be hard to eat more wildly than Michel Lotito, who was born in Grenoble, France, in 1950. One day, the glass from which a young Lotito was drinking broke, but rather than spitting out the shards, he chewed and swallowed them. He then began downing glass and metal on a regular basis, showing no signs of harm. From 1966 on, his diet included 18 bicycles, seven television sets, a computer, six chandeliers, skis, two beds, an entire coffin, and even a Cessna aircraft -- all in tiny pieces. Doctors X-rayed Lotito's stomach and found no problems, eventually concluding that an extra-thick gastrointestinal lining was responsible for his ability to devour 2 pounds (.9 kg) of metal every day. It is estimated that he consumed around nine tons of metal between 1959 and 1997. Lotito, who once said that he couldn't stomach soft foods such as hard-boiled eggs and bananas, died of natural causes in 2007 at the age of 57.

Digging into diets:

  • Considering himself overweight, England's William the Conqueror once "dieted" by consuming almost nothing but alcohol for a year; reportedly, it worked.
  • When Oprah Winfrey bought a 10 percent share in Weight Watchers in 2015, the diet program's stock price jumped nearly 400 percent.
  • Did you jump on the ketogenic diet trend? Before the meteoric rise of celebrity endorsers and keto diet apps since 2016, this low-carb, high-fat weight loss plan was a trusted treatment for epilepsy through the 1920s, 30s, and 40s. It’s been proven particularly useful in infants and children suffering from Doose syndrome, infantile spasms, focal seizures, and tuberous sclerosis complex. It only fell out of fashion in the medical community because of the invention of pharmaceutical anticonvulsants.
  • Only about 1 percent of overweight people can blame their DNA; poor diets and a sedentary lifestyle are almost always the real culprits.

Throughout history, diets have ranged from the mundane to the bizarre, reflecting the vast tapestry of human culture and the unique circumstances of different eras. While today's trends, such as the keto diet, emphasize low-carbohydrate intake for health and weight loss, historical diets have often been shaped by necessity, belief, or the eccentricities of individuals. From the opulent banquets of ancient emperors to the spartan meals of medieval monks, the human relationship with food has been as diverse as it has been strange, offering a fascinating glimpse into the lives and times of those who came before us.

Discussion Comments
By dimchild — On Dec 26, 2019

This is a an amazing story indeed.

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