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December 26, 1966


JAMA. 1966;198(13):1362-1363. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03110260074023

Before diet became suspect in the etiology of coronary heart disease, breakfast was a meal of invigorating abundance. Cream-drenched cereal, buttered toast, eggs, coffee, and, for those to whom the laws of Moses or strictures of Mahomet did not apply, bacon or ham—all were parts of a harmonious whole that might have inspired a memorable "still life."

The picture underwent drastic changes. These began more than a decade ago when evidence from different countries pointed to the association between fat consumption and mortality from coronary disease. The changes continued with each new "discovery" in the realm of food-coronary interrelationship, and various components of the breakfast ensemble disappeared one by one.

First to go was the egg, its very color betraying the offending cholesterol. Next went the fatty bacon and lipid-laden milk products, leaving behind them the bleakness of dry toast and the drabness of black coffee. Somewhat unexpectedly, sugar followed