10 Effed Up Vintage Weight Loss/Weight Gain Products That You Won’t Believe Existed

It’s big business to make women feel bad about the way their bodies look. If you think that’s a new invention, ha! Guess again. People have been preying on any and all potential insecurities and finding a way to make money off of it for ages. Chubby stomachs, tiny breasts, big noses, freckles…anything and everything on the female form has been fair game in the big bad world of, “let’s profit from making women feel like crap.” Gross but true.

I’ve written about vintage body shaming ads in the past, so let’s kick it up a notch and side eye the hell out of 10 effed up vintage weight loss products that were advertised back in the day. Some of them will make you head tilt like you’ve never head tilted before, trust.


Has your parent or grandparent ever accused you of having a tapeworm in your tummy when you're stuffing your face. WELL, PEOPLE ACTUALLY BOUGHT TAPE WORMS TO EAT IN THE HOPES THAT THEY WOULD GOBBLE UP THE FOOD THEY EAT FROM THE INSIDE. Yes. People intentionally ingested parasites in the hope that they would lose weight. Sanitized or not, that's disgusting. Unfortunately, people still do it!


So sugar became a weight loss sensation in the early '70s. Why? Because apparently sugar rushes lead to being energetic which leads to weight loss. Um, I'm pretty sure we're not all in the mood to run a mile after eating an ice cream cone but nice try.

Fat Reducing Soap

Um, unless this soap is actually acid that is peeling all of your skin and fat and tissues off...soap probably won't help you lose weight.

JIF Peanut Butter

Yes, the magical weight loss secret of eating three peanut butter sandwiches and three glasses of milk everyday for eight weeks. This is too laughable to even comment on. Like...how could anybody believe that this is the key to dropping a few dress sizes?

Vibrating Belt

These things look ridiculous but women swore by them back in the day. The vibrations were supposed to support weight loss in your midsection, thighs, butt, etc. Honestly, it mostly looks like a giant rubber bands that can double as a vibrator.

Lucky Strikes

Yeah, cigarettes were promoted as a weight loss secret for decades! Take a look at this awful ad campaign. Pretty sure we now know that if you're thinking about reaching for a donut or a cigarette...it better be a donut.

Kellog Massage Roller

The same dude who brought us some of our favorite cereals also brought us...this weird massage roller thing. Okay, can we just look at the demonstration photos? Exercising isn't supposed to be cute but this looks so silly! Pretty sure most of us would feel like a cat rubbing against a scratching post on this thing.

Weight Loss Suits

It's unclear as to how exactly this works but the little drawing shows that this couple used to be overweight and now they're not so...I guess these futuristic looking jumpsuits are part fashion, part weight loss magic.

Body Reducers

Nothing says slimmer face like a frighteningly constricting face guard! I'm no doctor, but I'm pretty sure that making your chin sweaty isn't going to remove a double chin. It...will just give you a sweaty, uncomfortable chin. But hey, what do I know? I'm not a doctor.

Wate On

Yes, the only product featured in this roundup that promotes weight gain and not loss. But at the end of the day the weight that this product hopes to add on is all around the bust and the butt. None of the models who were in these Wate On ads had anything heftier than an hourglass shape. So yeah, if you're skinny and aren't too well endowed, here's a product that'll make you...feel awful about yourself.

Which of these products do you think is the most ridiculous? Any remind you of today’s weird weight loss products? Tell us in the comments!

You can follow the author, Ashley Reese, on Twitter or Instagram. Don’t worry, she doesn’t bite!

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