Garbo-madness Eating nothing but raw yeast, with occasional treats of buttermilk..


If modern Hollywood ain’t great for promoting healthy body images, you can imagine what Old Hollywood was like. The annals of Tinseltown are full of awful tales of actresses forced to go on crash diets lest the men in the audience be subjected to the merest glimpse of a normal female body shape. But there was one screen icon who didn’t resent these diets. In fact, she actively embraced them. Greta Garbo was so obsessed with the health benefits of fad diets that she subjected herself to meals the UN would class as biological weapons.

The Cut has the full, appalling details. Garbo was a total recluse who hated venturing out so much she once managed to miss her own wedding. Just about the only person she allowed in was Gayelord Hauser, who just happened to be a nutritionist with a sideline in crazy. He convinced Garbo to spend decades following his dietary plans. One involved eating nothing but raw yeast, with occasional treats of buttermilk. Another involved Garbo dining only on spinach for a full three weeks. Luckily, she abandoned that diet before she had to choose between going to the hospital and trading blows with Bluto down at the dockyards.

Hauser liked to claim that following his bonkers diet plans would allow anyone to live to 100. In absolute fairness, both he and Garbo came close, dying at 89 and 84, respectively. No word as to whether they thought it was remotely worth it.


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