Norwich-born founder of Cambridge Diet dies at 74

PUBLISHED: 06:30 19 September 2012

The Norwich-born founder of the Cambridge Diet, Roger Howard has died of prostate cancer, aged 74.

The Norwich-born founder of the Cambridge Diet, Roger Howard has died of prostate cancer, aged 74.


The Norwich-born founder of the Cambridge Diet has died of prostate cancer, aged 74.

Roger Howard, a biochemist by trade, passed away on Sunday, September 2.

Mr Howard was the founding director of the company which launched the Cambridge Diet in the UK in 1984, proving hugely successful at the time.

Today it survives as the Cambridge Weight Plan and is made by Cambridge Manufacturing Co Ltd, based in Northamptonshire.

The formula diet was revolutionary as it provided the sole source of nutrition with only 450 calories, while including the daily requirements of vitamins and minerals.

The diet was the invention of Mr Howard’s brother, Alan, nine years his senior, while at Cambridge University in the 1970s.

Born in Norwich in 1938, Mr Howard spent his early childhood with his grandparents in Costessey and went to the local village school, where he passed the 11+ exam to the City of Norwich School, which was then a grammar school.

Following a two-year spell as a conscript in the RAF he studied biochemistry at the University of Liverpool, where he graduated and obtained a doctorate, the subject of which was the preparation of isolated liver cells.

He took this expertise across the Atlantic to Stanford University in California, where he met his wife, Judy. They had two children, Danny and Brian.

When the Howard Foundation, which had been established by his brother Alan, decided in 1984 to set up an independent company in the UK, Roger agreed to be its first managing director and started work in his parents’ bungalow in Thorpe St Andrew, armed with a list of his friends and contacts.

- Would you like to pay tribute to someone? Contact reporter David Freezer on 01603 772418 or

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