Woman's Day Magazine Diet Smackdown: Does 1956 or 2013 Give Better Dieting Advice?
Diet Advice in Woman's Day Magazine: February 2013 vs February 1956
As a long-time collector and reader of vintage women's magazines, I can honestly say that I find them to be far more entertaining and practical than any present day periodical. I thought it would be fun and hopefully enlightening to compare diet advice between two February issues of Woman's Day, one from 1956 and the other from 2013.
You'll notice that the 1956 copy has a photo of a puppy, but it's not a famous pup. Vintage Woman's Day magazines usually had photos of cute pets, kids or pretty scenes instead of a celebrity. Not only did they have no relation to any of the articles inside, but it was also rare to find one promoting a reducing diet on the cover, or anything at all:
What a contrast to today! Also, I have compared some of the basic categories in the magazine's contents. First is from 1956, the second from 2013:
Price: .07 / $1.99
Pages: 134 / 158
Categories: Articles and Fiction, Home Workshop and Decorating, Needlework, Fashion, Food, The How-To Section, Monthly Features / Embrace the Day, At Home, Your Style, Cookbook, Money, In Every Issue, Heart and Health Handbook
Ads for Prescription Meds*: 0 / 11, many of which are at least two full pages each
Ads for Diet Pills/Shakes/Weight Reducing Products*: 1 / 9 (One is for cats)
*Approximate as I may have missed some ads.
So what are Paula's 6 new rules of eating to lose weight and stay slim?
- Moderation, Not Deprivation
- Portion Control
- No Diet Food
- Eat Slowly and Enjoy It
- Rethink Your Plate
- Don't Eat Carbs Alone
One last comment on her advice is that she suggests you try "new" vegetables like Brussels sprouts: "They're selling them in those microwave steam bags, so I steam them, then put them in a frying pan with a little butter and olive oil until some of the outer leaves start getting a little brown." Why add unnecessary fat? They taste wonderful lightly steamed!
Ms. Dean makes no mention of counting calories or measuring portions scientifically other than by sight (a "fistful" of meat.) She suggests that you focus on "fun activities" like painting because you can just "sit down" and forget about everything else. While losing oneself in creative pursuits seems like a healthy outlet and a way to avoid overeating, sitting more generally isn't a good way to lose weight or stay in shape.
Woman's Day magazine excerpts © Hearst Communications.