The 20 Best (Worst) Vintage Diet Ads [Part 2 - Because I just love these things SO much] Featured

Authors: TheGreatFitnessExperiment



GROSS. So many questions: Why is this pig so happy to be slicing and dicing himself? Why is he made of sausage? How can he hold a knife with no opposable thumbs? And WHAT are the purple bits?! I’m so disturbed.

My hobbies: Fitness, baking failures and flushing toilets (at least you’d assume so based  on the number of times per day I have to do it. Boys.) Actually one of my fave things to do is to collect vintage dresses. But it’s less well known that I also love vintage diet ads. They’re hilarious! And misogynistic  And gross (see above)! And so often, really really wrong. So a couple of years ago I did a post with my fave ads but I’ve found so many new ones that I had to share these with you. You’re welcome! (Or, I’m sorry. I know, now you can’t get the pig out of your head either.)


Would this be the Hannibal Lecter method of “reducing”? Although I have to admit I’m curious to see the “illustrated booklet”.


Ayds has got to be the most unfortunate name for a diet pill ever. And considering the active ingredients included a numbing agent to blunt your taste buds and an amphetamine to, well, you know what speed does – it’s probably for the best this one went to the birds. Or the rabbits. Whatever. Also, lady? Vegetables: Ur doin it rong.


You know how much I love the pin-up girl aesthetic. This is the Coppertone Girl all grown up! 


Um, someone didn’t do their research very well. This is basically the worst advice ever. On like 7 different levels. Also, nobody licks an ice cream cone like that. STOP it.


Sorry, this isn’t a diet ad but holy crap is it disturbing. 


You know how I feel about comparing us ladies to fruit – ugh – but how much do I love that the bra is named “the Little Fibber”?! Does the “Big Fibber” exist? And if so may I have two please? dietad11

I am SO CURIOUS now. “No-pill, no-exercise, one-day reducing formula! Eat your fill! Go to sleep! Wake up! And you’ve lost up to 5 pounds!” I mean, it’s so vague! But now that I look closer I notice they didn’t include “pooping” on their list. I’ll bet my $1 whatever this thing is it will give you explosive diarrhea.


Aw, poor woman doesn’t get to eat at the table. But at least she makes a passable Ms. Pac-Man cake!


You see the woman’s stomach in the red suit? That’s pretty much what I look like. Why oh why was I not born 30 years earlier?! “If you want to be popular you can’t afford to be skinny!” I gotta say I find these reminders that tastes are so fickle to be oddly reassuring. Now for the important question: What is she wearing on her feet?! It looks like headgear… with heels.


Hunts tomato sauce: Patron saint of zombies. I mean don’t you just want to eat this woman braiiinnns now?


First, I will confess: I love a big ol’ brick of shredded wheat. I grew up on it. I think it’s fiberifically delicious. But while these biscuits may be saying “Good Morning”, they’re definitely thinking about last night. Anyone else find this pic a little, um, suggestive? It’s like butt cheeks covered in leaches.  


Don’t let these bewildered ladies fool you: us women folk can totally eat this mono-colored monstrosity of a soup too! Or you can wait for your cat to vomit. Up to you.


I dunno guys, the way she’s cupping that lettuce and the expression on her face… dietad19

Well at least the hippies got it right. I love that today we’re coddled into eating our veggies by hiding beets in brownies and beans in fudge. None of that codswallop in the 70′s! By golly, toughen up and eat your oddly shiny veggies. You pansy.


Oh good – I was worried that fat shaming was only for us modern gals! “Beneath that floppy sweatshirt she’s a little overweight. You knew that. Because right now you’re a little overweight too. That’s bad.”  You hear that? You are a bad, bad girl!  (Maybe you need a head of lettuce?) And sweatshirts are for losers. (Not cold people. No one ever gets cold walking the shore at dusk in their underwear.)


“Helps catch boys!” If Wonder Bread was as good at catching boys as it was at being “healthful” then this girl better look into a convent.

Oh man, I feel for little Tracy Harper so much right now. Honey, you’re not chubby. White tights make everyone’s legs look bigger. Also, if you need to pee the bathroom’s right down the hall. Don’t hold it, you’ll get an infection!


This is one seriously cute baby. Who is seriously FREAKING me out right now. Don’t do it, Junior! Mommy’s selling you crack!


You know who else I feel really bad for? Women easily confused by cereal. Here’s hoping someone opened the box for her because I would not trust that gal with scissors.

dietads9Oh hey, maybe this chick can help her!  

Do you have a favorite diet ad? What’s your secret hobby??

Written with love by Charlotte Hilton Andersen for The Great Fitness Experiment (c) 2011. If you enjoyed this, please check out my new book The Great Fitness Experiment: One Year of Trying EverythingThe 20 Best (Worst) Vintage Diet Ads [Part 2 - Because I just love these things SO much] for more of my crazy antics and uncomfortable over-shares!

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