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February 12, 1927


JAMA. 1927;88(7):485. doi:10.1001/jama.1927.02680330037015

The possible effects of deprivation of food are being given more than merely academic interest. Starvation, partial or complete, is a condition that is sometimes enforced on the individual by circumstances, such as disease, that are beyond his immediate control. Fasting may be indulged in by persons not only under medical prescription but also on the voluntary basis of less professional motives. It would not be difficult to find either laudatory or condemnatory comments with respect to the physiologic consequences of a temporary fast. At present, concern is being expressed regarding the possible dangers of the current vogue, among younger women of this country in particular, of attempting to cultivate a "sylphlike physique" through abstinence from food. The "slender figure" seems to be a desideratum in the local world of fashion. On the other hand, certain "health faddists" laud the advantages of even prolonged abstinence from food for certain persons.