The hit program Love Island came under a lot of pressure after it aired an ad for Skinny Sprinkles. The diet product is aimed at helping people become slim and as such, it is one small part of a giant weight loss market estimated to be worth 66 billion dollars in the US alone. Europe isn’t too far behind that at 44 billion. It is big business and yet surprisingly, its origins can be traced to a time when food was scarce.

This is a rebroadcast of our interview with Myriam Wilks-Heeg history of slimming in the UK and how it became an obsession for women. Dr Wilks-Heeg is a Lecturer in Twentieth Century History at the University of Liverpool.

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