I can't say this post has much substance, but I stumbled across it and thought it mildly interesting. Take from it what you will, if at all.
The headline from front page of The Milwaukee Sentinel, July 28, 1925: "Corsetless flapper shames sister, all laced up, at weighing in." (Yes, they chose page 1 stories differently then, and wrote headlines differently, too.)
The story is only five paragraphs, and reports the views of Charlie White, "veteran pugilist who has turned from the ring to become a physical director." White estimated that 80 percent of American women were 40-60 pounds overweight, and about 15 percent were underweight, with both conditions due to lack of exercise and proper diet.
"Let it be said in favor of the flapper that she is in far better physical trim than her married sister. If every woman in the country would 'go into training,' similar to that of a boxer, for ninety days, the result would be a nation of women more beautiful than any in history."
So let's see: Obesity "epidemic," though in this case just some guy's opinion; diet and exercise are the solutions; and for women, "physical trim" equals physical beauty. Got it.