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Obesity in the U.S. in the 1950s – From the Early Fight Against a Plague

Obesity remains one of America's most critical health issues. Here's a collection of photos taken by LIFE photographer Martha Holmes from the 1950s illustrate the obesity crisis in the United States from the early days...

“Bulging at beach in 1949, 197-pound Dorothy (Bradley) self-consciously leaves locker room for swim. She covered up embarrassment by being jolly and gregarious”. (Photo by Martha Holmes/Time & Life Pictures)

Dorothy Bradley, photographed for LIFE magazine article on obesity, 1949. (Photo by Martha Holmes/Time & Life Pictures)

“Hungry at drugstore after a day's work earning money for nursing school, Dorothy envies slim girl's milkshake, orders lemonade without sugar for herself”. (Photo by Martha Holmes/Time & Life Pictures)

Dorothy Bradley, photographed for LIFE magazine article on obesity, squeezes through turnstile, 1949. (Photo by Martha Holmes/Time & Life Pictures)

Dorothy Bradley (right), photographed for LIFE magazine article on obesity, 1949. (Photo by Martha Holmes/Time & Life Pictures)

Dorothy Bradley (left), photographed for LIFE magazine article on obesity, 1949. (Photo by Martha Holmes/Time & Life Pictures)

Dorothy Bradley, photographed for LIFE magazine article on obesity, eyes dress in a store window, 1949. (Photo by Martha Holmes/Time & Life Pictures)

“Embarrassed at shop because she wears a size 40, Dorothy tries on new dress. A friend encouragingly points out that dieting has reduced waistline by two sizes”. (Photo by Martha Holmes/Time & Life Pictures)

“In gym in New York sweat-suited Dorothy finds workout did not by itself remove pounds but did help avoid flabbiness as she lost weight dieting”. (Photo by Martha Holmes/Time & Life Pictures)

Dorothy Bradley, photographed for LIFE magazine article on obesity, works out in 1949. (Photo by Martha Holmes/Time & Life Pictures)

Dorothy Bradley, photographed for LIFE magazine article on obesity, works out in 1949. (Photo by Martha Holmes/Time & Life Pictures)

Dorothy Bradley (left), photographed for LIFE magazine article on obesity, meets with a nutritionist, 1949. (Photo by Martha Holmes/Time & Life Pictures)

Dorothy Bradley, photographed for LIFE magazine article on obesity, measures her waist, 1949. (Photo by Martha Holmes/Time & Life Pictures)

Dorothy Bradley, photographed for LIFE magazine article on obesity, tries on a dress, 1949. (Photo by Martha Holmes/Time & Life Pictures)

Dorothy Bradley, photographed for LIFE magazine article on obesity, works out in 1949. (Photo by Martha Holmes/Time & Life Pictures)

Dorothy Bradley, photographed for LIFE magazine article on obesity, works out in 1949. (Photo by Martha Holmes/Time & Life Pictures)

“Now down to 155 pounds, an attractive Dorothy dances at Navy Ball”. (Photo by Martha Holmes/Time & Life Pictures)

3 comments:

  1. i wish the fulltext was available

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  2. It looks like you can see most, if not all the txt in Google Books LIFE archive. Check it out: http://tinyurl.com/ol8ar5p

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  3. She was attractive and cute, even chubby. She looks like she'd have been fun to hang around with. A real sweetheart. Who cares if she didn't look model-thin in a swimsuit?

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