In this episode we explore the changing perceptions of fatness – from the fashionable fatness of the 1300s, 1400s and 1500s to the weight loss schemes of the 1700s and 1800s. The loaded history of language – from plumpness, to corpulence, to obesity – says a lot about the cultural perception of weight gain.

We also uncover some of the strange stories of the risks of corpulence – including spontaneous combustion!