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March 20, 1920


JAMA. 1920;74(12):806. doi:10.1001/jama.1920.02620120032016

Several years ago (May, 1915), the Archives of Internal Medicine devoted a supplementary number solely to the presentation of pioneer results obtained by the method of clinical calorimetry. To some the subject seemed at that time to be far removed from any immediate application to the problems of medical practice. The technic of the investigations involved highly specialized training; the language in which some of the results were expressed had a novel and unfamiliar ring; and "basal metabolism" seemed at most a topic for the consideration of the trained physiologist and the pathologist.

In the few intervening years, the technic and the necessary apparatus for estimating the energy exchange in human subjects have been simplified so that they are no longer beyond the capacities of intelligent clinicians. To the uninitiated the methods sound more complex than they really are. They are not among the easiest of routine diagnostic procedures; neither

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