No, not an obscure indie band.

The cholera belt was an article of clothing worn by British army soldiers to ward off the disease while serving in India, where it was endemic. Essentially it was a waistband or cummerbund made of flannel. The theory was that if you kept the abdomen warm by wearing this, cholera, dysentery, diarrhoea, and other gastrointestinal ailments could be prevented. Doctors quickly realized that cholera had little to do with cold and damp and was in fact caused by fecal bacteria in drinking water. But the military being the military, and inertia being what it is, use of the belt persisted until after World War II.

Details taken from www.straightdope.com

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