Fasting was of no benefit to that Pharisee in the Gospel, even though he always fasted two days a week, because he had adulterated it with pride and condemnation of his neighbor (Luke 18:11-12). Not that this means fasting is unprofitable. Moses, Elijah and the Lord Himself showed how beneficial it is for those who fast properly in a way that is pleasing to God.
Lack of self-control is actually an evil both ancient and modern; though it did not precede its antidote, fasting. By means of our forefathers' self-indulgence in paradise and their contempt for the fast already in existence there, death entered the world.