The weight loss market in the US is estimated to be worth 66 billion dollars.  Europe isn’t too far behind that at 44 billion.  It is big business and while its expansion has kept pace with our growing waist lines, its origins can be traced oddly enough to a time when food was scarce.  Myriam Wilks-Heeg is a Lecturer in Twentieth Century History at the University of Liverpool.  She’s researching the history of slimming in the UK and how it became an obsession for women.

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