While it’s never a good idea to eat too much—especially when the food you’re consuming isn’t all that nutritious—the fact remains that eating is a necessary part of life. Without proper nourishment, our bodies simply cannot function; this is accepted as common knowledge.

There have been times in history, however, that this was not the case. During the turn of the twentieth century in the United States, a troubling number of people believed that eating food was actually the root of most health problems.

Perhaps that’s why Linda Hazzard was able to convince people to pay her to starve them. Yet that’s far from the strangest part of her story…

Dr. Linda Hazzard, despite her self-appointed title, was actually not a doctor. In fact, she fits the definition of a “quack” quite perfectly. She had no medical degree and almost no real medical training, and yet was somehow licensed by the state of Washington as a “fasting specialist.”