Historical Events

Dr Joslin explains that Eskimos can "get along very comfortably upon 52 grams" of carbohydrate a day which "should greatly encourage diabetic patients"

The Treatment of Diabetes Mellitus

Elliott P. Joslin


From the preceding statements it will be seen that 55 per cent of the energy of the diet of the normal individual consists of carbohydrate . These figures are only approximate , but they leave no doubt as to how large a place sugar and starch occupy in the daily ration. (See p.415.) What percentage of carbohydrate is furnished by sugar is problematical . We do know, however, that the average individual was supposed to consume 84 pounds of cane sugar during the year 1921. This would amount to 105 grams, or 0.2 pounds, per day, which would amount to about one - fourth of the carbohydrate calories. 

The proportion of carbohydrate in the normal diet varies in different countries, reaching its maximum in the tropics and its minimum in the arctic zones. The people in India take 484 grams carbohydrate daily , while the Eskimos get along very comfortably upon 52 grams . Table 159 is arranged by modifying somewhat a similar table of Lusk's. It shows well the adaptability of different races to different diets . That the Eskimos live upon 52 grams of carbohydrate daily should greatly encourage diabetic patients . All who treat diabetics should be very thankful that there is a race of Eskimos through which proof is afforded that it is perfectly possible to maintain life on a diet in which carbohydrate is largely replaced by fat. The composition of the diet also varies in the same race from time to time and this has been interestingly described by Mendel.

Attention has already been called to the increase in the consumption of sugar in the United States during the last century. Rübner noted that the consumption of meat per capita in Germany had risen three and one - half times during a hundred years prior to the war. The effects of undernutrition during the war were manifest generally in Europe and America, but the total dietary restriction obscures the results of qualitative changes. (See p115.)

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