Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Simpler Times - Diet Aids of the 60's

I am always amazed at how our brains work. Take memory for example. I can see, hear, smell or experience something that immediately links me to an event from way back in my childhood. I had one of those experiences today at lunch. While sitting attempting to sip my delicious, filling Slimfast, I had a flashback in time. In an instant I was five years old sitting in the back seat of our white Chevrolet in the parking lot of Sam Houston Electric Cooperative. My Aunt Judy worked there at the time, and Mom and I had gone by to take her "lunch" and to visit while she ate. My aunt had asked us to bring her one of the meal replacement drinks of the day, SEGO. As she sat in the front seat pulling the tab back and taking a slow sip, the disgusted look on her face said it all. Let's just say that apparently meal replacement drinks have come a long way in taste since the SEGO days.
See the pounds go with SEGO!

This got me to reminiscing about other diet and weight loss products I remember seeing around in my younger days. Who could ever forget the infamous Ayds diet candies? I used to be bad about sneaking one of these "delicious" diet candies out of Mom's box when there was nothing else sweet to eat around the house. (Can you say sugar addiction?) That is pretty sad when a sweet tooth gets so bad that a diet vitamin candy will suffice to satisfy the craving! I am really sad these aren't still around since these would probably be my favorite "weight loss" product. Apparently their ad campaign, "lose weight with Ayds" never could recover after the disease Aids was discovered.


Then there were the only two sugar free colas on the market in the early 60's, Diet Rite and Tab. Both were originally sweetened with either sodium saccharin or saccharin and cyclamate (blech!), which gave them a bitter taste. Of course, these sweeteners were believed to cause cancer in laboratory rats. Cyclamate was banned, and Diet Rite began sweetening with Aspertame. Aspertame became questionable, so they then began using a form of Splenda. I read in Wikipedia that Diet Rite "became the first major diet soda in the United States to use neither aspartame nor saccharin as a sweetener." Tab was replaced with Diet Coke, although it can still be found in some areas.

However, my favorite weight loss item was neither a supplement, drink, or meal replacement. It was an exercise machine. The Westcott family in my home town owned one. (By the way I thought the Westcott's owned the coolest house in was two-story AND they had a pool table!) This machine was supposed to vibrate the fat right off and tone you as well. All you had to do was stand there and let it work its magic. (Note the ladies wearing heels to work out in the picture.) Now THIS is my kind of workout!

Times change, and diet and exercise methods change along with them. One thing, however, remains the same. As long as there is plenty to eat, and as long as there are people with my kind of metabolism and lack of willpower, the diet and exercise market will remain open for business and can look forward to a profitable future.

A Poem for Bear By Maw Maw Cindy My dear little Bear who sleeps soundly and tight So peaceful and trusting, your cares free...