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Methods Used by the Hippocratic Physicians for Weight Reduction

Abstract

In classical antiquity, particularly in the Hippocratic Corpus, obesity was considered the cause of disease and, in the extreme, death. This attitude mirrors the general ideology of the times where any deviation from the norm and from logic was unacceptable. The image of balance and of the ideal body weight was clearly depicted in ancient Greek art. The same attitude is reflected in the Hippocratic texts where obesity is again condemned as a deviation from the norm. The cause of obesity refers to the surplus of one of the liquids circulating in the body. Thus treatment points mainly to restoring the balance of liquids. This is accomplished by diet, drugs, and most importantly exercise. Walking, running, wrestling, and other practices are advised together with baths, massage, rest, and the “appropriate” life style.

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Correspondence to Helen Christopoulou-Aletra Ph.D..

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Christopoulou-Aletra, H., Papavramidou, N. Methods Used by the Hippocratic Physicians for Weight Reduction. World J. Surg. 28, 513–517 (2004). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00268-004-7373-9

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00268-004-7373-9

Keywords

  • Obesity
  • Ideal Body Weight
  • Weight Loss Method
  • Metron
  • Ancient Medicine