William Banting was a retired funeral undertaker living in London, UK. He was born in about This is my attempt at making his original page letter more easily accessible to us all. At about age 66, William Banting went on the eating plan that bears his name today. He died in , at age Banting wrote in extremely long sentences — I found myself losing the sense of the idea he was trying to convey, long before the full stop.

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William Banting was a retired funeral undertaker living in London, UK. He was born in about This is my attempt at making his original page letter more easily accessible to us all. At about age 66, William Banting went on the eating plan that bears his name today. He died in , at age Banting wrote in extremely long sentences — I found myself losing the sense of the idea he was trying to convey, long before the full stop.

There were also many words, and word arrangements, no longer in use today. I hope I have succeeded. There is one exception to this. Banting was given a meal plan not quite a diet by his medical advisor, Mr Harvey.

What gives me the boldness to do this is the fact that this usage of his name for a defined system of human nutrition, began during his own lifetime. Another benefit is that it makes reading this letter easier, and more relevant to the 21st century. I like the way italics converts text into conversation. The correspondence that Banting refers to on the original cover of his open letter shown below — and my modernisation starts here , is not included in this edition.

Bookseller to the Queen and H. Preface to the Fourth Edition It is with pride and satisfaction that I publish a fourth edition of my Open Letter on Being Overweight, believing that it will continue to interest and benefit readers. The only defect if I may call it that of the previous editions, was that I was unable to offer evidence of how effective Banting is, apart from my own experience. Five years have now passed since the third edition that was sold world-wide.

It gives me much pleasure to know that I have been instrumental in publicising a little-known and much-neglected law of nature. How popular has the third edition been? It sold a phenomenal 63, copies in the UK alone, was translated into foreign languages, and widely circulated in France, Germany, and the United States. In addition to all this, I have received over 2, letters, all very complimentary. Being intensely interested in the problem of overweight, I encouraged others to send me their experiences.

Certainly, this took a great deal of my time and money. Fortunately I had the resources needed; moreover I considered it a privilege to serve others in this way. William Harvey my medical adviser , hammered home the basics of his meal plan. I subsequently confirmed its effectiveness through my own experience. This meant that I was able to speak from deep confidence, and this insulated me from the ridicule and abuse sent my way in the early days.

I think my detractors were annoyed by my silence! I am filled with pity for those eminent folk who dismissed the meal plan as humbug, and considered me a fool. I thank the press for the general fairness of its criticisms.

When I was quite unjustly attacked by the British Association, the Morning Advertiser of 3 October published an effective defence. I am greatly indebted to that newspaper. I have been strongly and frequently advised to publish some of the highly interesting reports I have received from correspondents, to prove the value of correct eating as one gets older.

I hope that the evidence presented here will be considered without prejudice, and may even convince the most hardened doubter. I have been accused of not consulting prominent members of the medical profession about my condition. I am definitely not guilty of this charge.

I assure the public that, for the 20 years before seeing Mr Harvey, I saw doctors only for conditions that were the inevitable result of being overweight. I consulted many of them, and none were of second-rate reputation! None of them diagnosed the real cause of my ailments. My turnaround came only when I appealed to my friend Mr Harvey — and I saw him because of deafness.

Mr Harvey was the first to point out that all my disorders resulted because I as overweight. I think it probable that Mr Harvey was most surprised by my excellent results. After all, he must have given the same advice to others suffering from overweight. Most, I think, ignored his prescription, or were not strict in applying it. Please give me credit for this: I complied completely with his advice.

You could say I was the perfect banter! But to him alone belongs the credit for the cure. It took me over 20 years to get to him, but he was the first to put me on the road to good health. I have never claimed to have any specialist medical knowledge, or to know why Banting works so well.

This has not changed. In the early stages of my crusade against the parasite of overweight, some writers have dwelt negatively on my four meals a day. They presumed that this was four heavy meals — though no part of my Letter says this. Since adulthood, I have been a moderate eater. I believe few men, as healthy and active as I am, eat less than I do in any hour period. I am thoroughly convinced that it is quality alone you need to worry about, and not quantity.

This has been denied by some critics, but on the evidence of me and many of my correspondents, they are mistaken. I completely acknowledge that people of larger build may eat more of the prescribed diet, but they must be guided by their own judgement, while abiding by the principles.

However, I was confident that our own medical men second to none in Europe were well-informed of any scientific fact discovered in Paris, or anywhere. So I never dreamed of consulting any foreign authorities as the media thinks I should in my search of a cure for being overweight.

Still, I am glad that my open letter has brought all this to light! My only wish is that debate and research continues until the system is thoroughly understood by every thinking person on the planet. I certainly hope that things will change now.

Some writers have suggested that I had no serious complaints in my overweight state. Are failing sight and hearing not serious complaints? What about an umbilical rupture requiring a truss , and bandages for weak knees and ankles — are these not serious complaints? I think that only sufferers from overweight can truly appreciate its miseries. Only sufferers from overweight can truly appreciate the benefits of Banting — a system that can so easily solve the problem! Additionally, I want to ensure that no one experiences ill-effects caused by Banting.

Where the newspapers published unfavourable reports, I really worked at finding the authors. I found that the complaints have no more foundation than the frequent reports of my death! A month after the third edition of my open letter was published, I received an abusive letter from an anonymous correspondent.

To him who is no longer unknown to me , I say — your letter is no argument against the system. It merely shows your lack of good manners and common sense. I sent copies of my letter to leading professional men — and received many kind and practical replies. Some of these are attached. One of them, I need to quote here. But it was always coupled with lots of sweaty workouts.

My experience now proves beyond any doubt that, even without vigorous exercise, Banting remedies overweight. In any case, the sickly overweight person just cannot engage in strenuous activity. I heard that an eminent doctor was actually distributing my letter in his rooms! I contacted him to confirm this — and he invited me to visit.

There, on his table, was a pile of my letters. But that was in the context of diabetes and other diseases. Mr Harvey applied it to the overweight problem. My only goal was to bring relief to sufferers of obesity. I find in this sufficient compensation for the contempt and mockery in these journals. I need to say this firmly. I always eat, drink, and sleep well.

I have no real illness since using the system recommended to me by Mr Harvey. But this was cured by staying on Banting. So I am offering no quack remedy, no overnight fix. Instead, I am offering my experience of a perfectly harmless system I believe , based on professional advice.

Banting replaces a generous eating plan for a miserly one; it burns up superfluous fat; it alleviates if not cures gout; it remedies boils and indigestion; it banishes headaches — in short, it makes life more enjoyable, especially for the elderly. If you hear any adverse reports of my health, please send me a letter, so that I may correct any errors!

To those still overweight people that I see in my travels around England — may this fourth edition be useful. Then weight yourself on Day Zero. Follow the system rigidly for just a week, and then weigh yourself again on Day 7. Many readers have asked for details about the morning beverage I recommended.


William Banting

I was looking through my as yet unorganized library a couple of days ago and came across a couple of books that I thought I should blog about. After giving it some more thought I decided to start a series of posts on the books that I found most essential in my own low-carb reading. So here we are with the first post in the series. Probably the most influential diet book of all time was not really a diet book, but a bound letter written by a satisfied patient. William Banting was a middle-aged undertaker living in London who had become obese. He sought the help of multiple physicians and other practitioners who prescribed a variety of remedies for him, none of which worked. Or as he put it.


Letter on Corpulence, Addressed to the Public. 1869

The cover image for this eBook was created by the transcriber and is placed in the public domain. Archaic or alternate spelling, which may have been in use at the time of publication, has been retained. This letter is respectfully dedicated to the Public simply and entirely from an earnest desire to confer a benefit on my fellow creatures. Of all the parasites that affect humanity I do not know of, nor can I imagine any more distressing than that of Obesity, and having just emerged from a very long probation in this affliction, I am desirous of circulating my humble knowledge and experience for the benefit of my fellow man, with an earnest hope it may lead to the same comfort and happiness I now feel under the extraordinary change—which might almost be termed miraculous had it not been accomplished by the most simple common sense means. Obesity seems to me very little understood or properly appreciated by the faculty and the public generally, or the former would long ere this have hit upon the cause for so lamentable a disease, and applied effective remedies, whilst the latter would have spared their injudicious indulgence in remarks and sneers, frequently painful in society, and which, even on the strongest mind, have an unhappy tendency; but I sincerely trust this humble effort at exposition may lead to a more perfect ventilation of the subject and a better feeling for the afflicted. It would afford me infinite pleasure and satisfaction to name the author of my redemption from this calamity, as he is the only one that I have been able to find and my search has not been sparing who seems thoroughly up in the question; but such publicity might be construed [4] improperly, and I have, therefore, only to offer my personal experience as to the stepping-stone to public investigation, and to proceed with my narrative of facts, earnestly hoping the reader will patiently peruse and thoughtfully consider it, with forbearance for any fault of style or diction, and for any seeming presumption in publishing it. I have felt some difficulty in deciding on the proper and best course of action.


Banting Letter on Corpulence – In Today’s English

William Banting c. December — 16 March [1] [2] was a notable English undertaker. Formerly obese , he is also known for being the first to popularise a weight loss diet based on limiting the intake of carbohydrates, especially those of a starchy or sugary nature. William Harvey, who in turn had learned of this type of diet, but in the context of diabetes management, from attending lectures in Paris by Claude Bernard. In the early 19th century, the family business of William Banting of St. The royal undertaking warrant for the Banting family eventually ended in with the retirement of William Westport Banting.

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