Where did this mania of eating healthy start?

The Original ‘Health Food’

As odd as it may be at the turn of the last century Dr. Kellogg came up with his cereal which revolutionized the idea of breakfast as being healthy. Legend has it that John Harvey Kellogg, a Seventh-Day Adventist, invented his cornflakes because he thought that eating pure, wholesome food would stop people masturbating. That apart, as a doctor he also believed that the common health concerns of the day – digestion and constipation – could be improved by consuming the fiber in is cornflakes.

At this time people had not really had health food marketed to them before. For women who’d traditionally cooked a large breakfast for their family it was a godsend – the fact that it was healthier for their families took the guilt away from buying breakfast in a box.

The popularity of bacon for breakfast was the brainchild of Edward Benays. In the 1920’s, he was commissioned by the US pork industry to boost bacon sales. Bernays surveyed medical doctors and asked them one question: is a hearty breakfast preferable? The answer was yes, presumably as a relic of the ideas of breakfast and refueling from bygone agricultural days. Bernays used this fact in marketing campaigns and the popularity of bacon and eggs rocketed.

Terry Pfau DO, HMD

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