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English diet, which the colonists inherited, was reputedly a heavy one. In the seventeenth century it consisted largely of meat and cereals; but in the next century physicians began urging the use of greens and other vegetables. The keeper of the Chelsea botanic garden declared that, by 1750, five times as many vegetables were consumed in the London area as had been used there during the late 1600's. Beer, wine, sugar, and fruit also were introduced into the general diet. But claims continued to be made that the English people overate and that nothing was more dangerous to health than their excessive appetites.—R. H. Shryock, Medicine and Society in America, 1660-1860, New York University Press, 1960, page 88.
ENGLISH DIET. JAMA. 1961;175(6):499. doi:10.1001/jama.1961.03040060073020