This book was published in 1958, the same year as Professor John Yudkin’s This Slimming Business and would have been competing with it for sales.

Dr Richard Mackarness MB BS (1916-1996) was at the time of writing, a GP in Kew and medical correspondent at the News Chronicle. He later introduced Clinical Ecology to the UK and helped to found Action Against Allergy. He’s more well known for his other books, Not All In The Mind and Chemical Victims. He gave the proceeds from these to the Chemical Victims Association, which he founded.

The foreword of Eat Fat Grow Slim was penned by Sir Heneage Ogilvie KBE DM M CH FRCS (1887-1971) a former Vice-President of the Royal College of Surgeons, Editor of The Practitioner and a consultant surgeon at Guy’s Hospital.

He writes: ” Carbohydrates provide calories and nothing else. They have none of the essential elements to build up or to repair the tissues of the body. A man given carbohydrates alone, however liberally, would starve to death on calories.”

Dr Mackarness begins Chapter One, by explaining the old calories in, calories out mantra. Then he refers back to William Banting, saying that the reason why people become obese, is because they have: ” a defective capacity for dealing with carbohydrates “.

In Chapter Two, he pulls apart calories, with the aid of more cute drawings. Chapter Three tackles all the objections which people have to high fat diets. He rolls out some big guns, including Professor John Yudkin.

Chapter Four covers the practicalities of eating a high fat low carb diet. He includes suggestions for packed lunches, and menu choices when eating out. The amusing thing, is to look at prices such as 7 shillings for a mixed grill. £1 in 1958 would be worth £23 in 2020. £1 – 20 shillings, so 10 shillings would be around £11.50

Chapter Five can be summed up, as being Dr Mackarness lobbing in scraps from studies and august publications, which support his point of view. Chapter Six is simply a summing up of the book.

The appendices include a height/weight chart, menu plans, some carb tables and a glossary. No recipes, but these are covered by Eat Fat Grow Slim Cookery from Joy Barnett, published in 1960.

Dr Richard Macknarness – Obituary, The Independent
The Independent – Dr Richard Mackarness

The Doctor Richard Mackarness Foundation Ltd, runs
Addiction Management 
National Stop Smoking Centres (NSSC)

 Interview with Dr Mackarness included in British Pathé newsreel on slimming
Want To Slim? Then Eat Fat! – British Pathé (


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