Nutrition

Nutrition

Recent History

January 1, 1901

William Osler

The Principles and Practice of Medicine

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Dr Osler reduces starches and sweets and sometimes fats to help with obesity

"We are often consulted by persons in whose family obesity prevails to give rules for the prevention of the condition in children or in women approaching the climacteric. In the case of children very much may be done by regulating the diet, reducing the starches and fats in the food, not allowing the children to eat sweets, and encouraging systematic exercises. In the case of women who tend to grow stout after child-bearing or at the climeratic, in addition to systematic exercises, they should be told to avoid taking too much food, and particularly reduce the starches and sugars. There are a number of methods or systems in vogue at present. In the celebrated one of Banting, the carbohydrates and fats were excluded and the amount of fat was greatly reduced.”

January 1, 1904

Nutrition and National Health

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Robert McCarrison finds a difference between Indians and relates it to nutrition and access to meat, butter, and cheese

 In his words “To one whose work has lain in India, and who for more than twenty years has been engaged in a study of the relation of faulty food to disease, the belief that such food is of paramount importance in the causation of disease amounts to certainty.”

McCarrison was a young medical doctor when he was stationed by the British administration in what is today northern Pakistan, at the beginning of the 20’s century. He had a neck for research and noticed soon after his arrival that the Hunza tribe are incredibly healthy in comparison to other populations in his region. He attributed the health to their diet and thus began a long career in nutritional research.

After WWI the British realized that they did not know what to feed their Indian soldiers, so they established a nutritional research center in Madras headed by McCarrison. The results of his 18 years of research are summarized in two Cantor lectures that McCarrison presented in England in 1936 after he was promoted to major-general and received a Sir title from King George V for his scientific achievements. via Miki Ben-Dor


"Add to this that the average Bengali or Madrassi uses relatively little milk or milk-products, that by religion he is often a non-meat-eater, that his consumption of protein, whether of vegetable or of animal origin, is, in general, very low, that fresh vegetable and fruit enter into his dietary but sparingly, and we have not far to seek for the poor physique that, in general, characterizes him. In short, it may be said that according as the quality of the diet diminishes with respect to proteins, fats, minerals and vitamins, so do physical efficiency and health; a rule which applies with equal force to the European as to the Indian."


The Big Fat Surprise by Nina Teicholz also discusses this, page 14 
"In the early 1900s, for instance, Sir Robert McCarrison, the Britist government's director of nutrition research in the Indian Medical Service and perhaps the most influential nutritionist of the first half of the twentieth century, wrote that he was "deeply impressed by the health and vigour of certain races there. The Sikhs and the Hunzas," notably, suffered from "none of the major diseases of Western nations such as cancer, peptic ulcer, appendicitis, and dental decay." These Indians in the north were generally long-lived and had "good physique[s]," and their vibrant health stood "in marked contrast" to the high morbidity of other groups in the southern part of India who ate mainly white rice with minimal dairy or meat. McCarrison believed he could rule out causes other than nutrition for these differences, because he found that he could reproduce a similar degree of ill-health when feeding experimental rats a diet low in milk and meat. The healthy people McCarrison observed ate some meat but mostly "an abundance" of milk and milk products such as butter and cheese, which meant that the fat content of their diet was mainly saturated."

January 1, 1908

A Study of the Diet and Metabolism of Eskimos Undertaken in 1908 on an Expedition to Greenland

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Krogh estimates daily diet of Greenland Eskimo from 1855

August and Marie Krogh, in 1908 (3), studied the dietary of the Greenland Eskimo. On the basis of the total annual food consumption of a section of Greenland, as collected by Rink in 1855, they estimated that the daily diet contained approximately 280 gm. of protein, 135 gm. of fat, and 54 gm. of carbohydrate.

January 2, 1932

Cancer: Civilization and Degeneration

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Cope discusses the early eating habits of the English and the rarity of cancer at the time, the disease increasing as the consumption of meat decreased. He deplores certain civilized customs.

 

The Mortality from Cancer Throughout the World, a work I have cited frequently, was issued during 1915 by the Prudential; it is an 826-page volume by Dr. Frederick L. Hoffman, head of the company's statistical department as well as chairman of the Committee on Statistics of the American Society for the Control of Cancer. As implied above, it runs through Hoffman's work that uncivilized people seldom if ever have cancer. Throughout it is implied, and now and then stated, that this is a common and orthodox belief.

But in later works it appears that Hoffman, though still himself of the same view, realized that there were many skeptics. This is especially apparent in the second of his huge volumes, Cancer and Diet (1937). Here, page 90, is the passage I shall use to introduce Cope:

“An exceedingly important work on Cancer: Civilization and Degeneration by John Cope, was published in London in 1932. Cope discusses the early eating habits of the English and the rarity of cancer at the time, the disease increasing as the consumption of meat decreased. He deplores certain civilized customs ...”

January 1, 1939

Weston A. Price

Nutrition and Physical Degeneration

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Price, a dentist, travels the world to see pre-western diet populations and their incredible health.

Dr. Weston A. Price (1870-1948), a Cleveland dentist, has been called the “Isaac Newton of Nutrition.” In his search for the causes of dental decay and physical degeneration that he observed in his dental practice, he turned from test tubes and microscopes to unstudied evidence among human beings. Dr. Price sought the factors responsible for fine teeth among the people who had them–isolated non-industrialized people.

The world became his laboratory. As he traveled, his findings led him to the belief that dental caries and deformed dental arches resulting in crowded, crooked teeth and unattractive appearance were merely a sign of physical degeneration, resulting from what he had suspected–nutritional deficiencies.

Price traveled the world over in order to study isolated human groups, including sequestered villages in Switzerland, Gaelic communities in the Outer Hebrides, Eskimos and Indians of North America, Melanesian and Polynesian South Sea Islanders, African tribes, Australian Aborigines, New Zealand Maori and the Indians of South America. Wherever he went, Dr. Price found that beautiful straight teeth, freedom from decay, stalwart bodies, resistance to disease and fine characters were typical of native people on their traditional diets, rich in essential food factors.

Ancient History

Books

The Vegetarian Myth: Food, Justice, and Sustainability

Published:

May 1, 2009

The Vegetarian Myth: Food, Justice, and Sustainability

Food and Western Disease: Health and Nutrition from an Evolutionary Perspective

Published:

January 11, 2010

Food and Western Disease: Health and Nutrition from an Evolutionary Perspective

Evolving Human Nutrition: Implications For Public Health (Cambridge Studies in Biological and Evolutionary Anthropology)

Published:

December 5, 2013

Evolving Human Nutrition: Implications For Public Health (Cambridge Studies in Biological and Evolutionary Anthropology)

The World Turned Upside Down: The Second Low-Carbohydrate Revolution

Published:

December 10, 2014

The World Turned Upside Down: The Second Low-Carbohydrate Revolution

Facultative Carnivore

Published:

January 1, 2020

Facultative Carnivore

Sacred Cow: The Case for (Better) Meat: Why Well-Raised Meat Is Good for You and Good for the Planet

Published:

July 14, 2020

Sacred Cow: The Case for (Better) Meat: Why Well-Raised Meat Is Good for You and Good for the Planet

Ketones, The Fourth Fuel: Warburg to Krebs to Veech, the 250 Year Journey to Find the Fountain of Youth

Published:

August 13, 2020

Ketones, The Fourth Fuel: Warburg to Krebs to Veech, the 250 Year Journey to Find the Fountain of Youth