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May 14, 1955


JAMA. 1955;158(2):123. doi:10.1001/jama.1955.02960020029011

Although a restrictive diet is often an aid to treatment for disease, it is almost impossible for a patient to obtain exact amounts of specified foods daily over a prolonged period. Dietary restrictions for an acute emergency lasting only a few days, such as diabetic acidosis or a gastrointestinal upset, are easily tolerated, but if dietary restriction becomes a part of the treatment of a chronic disease numerous difficulties must be met. Because many physicians who prescribe such a diet do not appreciate this fact Rittelmeyer1 urges the physician never to prescribe a restrictive diet unless he has first tried it himself, and he quotes Dr. Irvine Page as saying that after placing himself on a low fat diet his blood lipids dropped (an expected but not necessarily beneficial change) but that also there was an impairment of his disposition and a marked constriction of his circle of friends.

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