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Next PagePrevious Page Diet of 1913-1914

Taft started a diet immediately upon leaving the White House on March 4, 1913. He lost more than 70 pounds on this diet.

Dr. George Blumer of Yale University supervised the diet, but there are no surviving letters from Blumer describing it.

The best descriptions available are the letter below, written to a man in Seattle that Taft did not know, and an interview with Taft in the New York Times. It seems similar to the reducing diet Taft followed in 1905-06.

Warning: This page is not intended as medical advice or as a suggestion for personal health practices. Consult your physician if you contemplate dieting.

January 23, 1914

My dear Sir:

I have your letter of January 18th. I have lost 66 pounds since the 4th of March. My diet has not been severe.

I have not drunk a great deal of water, not more than a glass or two at my meals; I have given up bread and toast and all farinaceous food, all butter and fat, confined my meat to beef and mutton and fowl and eschewed pork, and veal, have omitted fat fish, like salmon, and have taken no sweets of any sort. You can eat all vegetables but potatoes, and fruit that has not too much sugar.

You ought to take moderate exercise every day. I have tried to play a game of golf, or walk four or five miles each day.

You ought not to lose too rapidly, because it is likely to injure the muscles of your heart if you do.

Above all you ought to be examined by the best physician you can get. Don't get a quack. Have your physician examine you; then have him recommend a diet which will be like the one I suggest, I fancy if your constitution will stand it. You may have some organic trouble that would make it unwise to attempt such a diet. Don't do anything except under the observance of a physician, consulting him every ten days or two weeks. If he will allow you to pursue this diet, and you stick to it, I think you will reduce your flesh.

Sincerely yours,
[Taft signature]

Mr. C. E. B------
        Seattle, Washington,

P.S. I don't smoke or drink intoxicating liquors.

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