Socially speaking, the idea of eating healthy as the way to well being belongs to Christians who more than any other group in this country had/have consciously considered and practiced controlled diet as a means for a longer and a more virtuous healthy life.
recorded... It began with Sylvester Graham a Presbyterian minister who
lived from the early to mid 1800s. He spent his adult life trying to
convince Americans that white bread was weakening the nation. Reverend
Graham's solution, instead of white bread, was to eat a coarse brown
bread and or whole-wheat crackers -Graham Crackers!
This whole grain diet
he proposed was picked up by the Seventh Day Adventists around 1850 and
became part of their church doctrine; whole-grain foods, no meat, limited fats (fats are necessary); no alcohol, no tobacco, no coffee.
about this same time, those Seventh Day Adventists selected Battle
Creek, Michigan, as their national headquarters and started a small
hospital which by 1866 had grown into a nationally renown health
institution called the Battle Creek Sanitarium.
C.W. Post, a Texas real
estate developer had severe digestive problems and went to the Battle
Creek Sanitarium in 1891. To his delight, within a day he was able to
eat his first full meal. He was convinced that the secret to good health
as simply to think you are healthy and to eat in moderation. He shared
in Dr. Kellogg's belief in pre-digested, non stimulant food so he had
the BC kitchen invent a substitute coffee - Postum. And, C.W. felt it
necessary to create a complimentary cereal to his coffee - Grape Nuts.
Source ~ Advertising in America: The First 200 Years. Harry N. Abrams. Inc. publishers NY