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June 29, 1940

Nutrition and Physical Degeneration: A Comparison of Primitive and Modern Diets and Their Effects

JAMA. 1940;114(26):2589. doi:10.1001/jama.1940.02810260075024

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The author's major interest is oral degeneration and oral disease. His approach to the problem is evangelistic rather than scientific. He is first appalled by "the progressive decline of modern civilization" because of the "physical, mental and moral deterioration of the modernized peoples." In the second place he is amazed and inspired by the revelation of the fund of wisdom, especially nutritional, in the culture and customs of primitive people and by their physical fitness. And in the third place he proposes as the remedy for this progressive decline that "We too, like the successful primitive stocks, can make, as a first requisite, provision for adequate nutrition for generation and growth," and second, for the regulation of overloads such as pregnancy. His dietary program for the control of dental caries differs but little from that recommended by other more conventional nutritionists, namely one rich in vitamins, in minerals, in fresh

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