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November 9, 1970

Hunger and Malnutrition

Author Affiliations

Spokane, Wash

JAMA. 1970;214(6):1123. doi:10.1001/jama.1970.03180060097033

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To the Editor.—  The July 13, 1970, issue of The Journal contains a report from the Council on Foods and Nutrition (213:272, 1970) entitled "Malnutrition and Hunger in the United States." As the report sets forth, the two conditions are distinct and separate. Every physician knows that malnutrition exists among the elderly and the uninformed. In contrast, the report states: "There is no truly reliable estimate of the number of hungry people in our country."Starting with approximately the 1960 presidential campaign, there has been a recurring theme in the lay press concerning the supposedly enormous problem of hunger in the United States. While there may be small pockets of hunger in remote, inaccessible areas, I believe most physicians would join me in wondering when they last saw a patient truly suffering from chronic hunger. For a council of the American Medical Association to lend credibility to the myth