Starved for 11 months

Nov 1959: Helen Putnam, a performer who went by the stage name "The Ten Ton Fun" (her theme song was 'All of me') was accepted into a weight-loss experiment conducted by Frank Tullis of the University of Tennessee. For the next 11 months she was restricted to a liquid diet consisting of nothing but black coffee, tea, water, and 900 calories a day of a milk and soy-based formula.

Except for an occasional few hours, she and three other women in the experiment were confined to a silent, dead-end wing of the hospital. The monotony was broken by visits and telephone calls from family and friends... the long days were unnerving.
"I thought I was starving. I thought the doctors didn't know what they were doing," she said. She wept. Some days she sulked in her room. On others she ranted and raved and several times threatened to leave.

She dropped from 318 pounds to 151, and in doing so became the first woman to ever complete a metabolism experiment of this kind.

I wonder if she managed to keep it off. I haven't been able to find any follow-up info about her.

Pittsburgh Post Gazette - Jan 21, 1961

Springfield News Leader - Jan 18, 1961

     Posted By: Alex - Mon Nov 06, 2017
     Category: 1960s | Dieting and Weight Loss

I did a bit of searching and found an article at:

The following quote is from that article.
"Fat Ladies Anonymous got involved in a number of civic ventures around town, including the Happy Acres Home for children with severe developmental problems, which was operated by the Duration Club. By 1959, though, membership had dropped to just nine women, and the club soon folded altogether. Putnam died in 1983, and the Fat Ladies Anonymous clubhouse on Madison was demolished to make way for a Circle K."

I found the entire article to be fairly informative and interesting. There is a comment attached to the article that had a bit more information.
Posted by Steve E. on 11/06/17 at 12:50 PM
Though the product is not identified, I strongly suspect the it was Metrecal. The timing and the calorie count seem to fit. I remember my mother having it around in the 60s.
Posted by Frank P on 11/06/17 at 04:12 PM
I remember my mother using Metrecal during the early 1960's. In all, losing some 160 pounds over a period of eleven months seems attainable. That works out to some four pounds per week. Overall, if you think about it, she lost a whole other Helen!
Posted by KDP on 11/07/17 at 09:16 AM
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