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July 20, 1918


JAMA. 1918;71(3):195-196. doi:10.1001/jama.1918.02600290037012

The expression "balanced ration" and the principles that it is intended to convey have been developed largely in the domain of animal feeding. To the animal husbandman the prevailing theory of a balanced ration has postulated that the requirements for the successful growth and reproduction of an animal have been met when the supply of digestible protein and available energy is adequate. A somewhat similar idea of "balancing the diet" by securing a suitable intake of protein and calories has become current in popular literature on human nutrition.1 Even in the planning of individual meals, some consideration of the distribution and quantities of the familiar nutrients has been urged. Thus, in her book on feeding the family, Mrs. Rose2 has written:

To see that these three foodstuffs are represented in good proportions in each meal is what is usually meant by serving a "balanced" meal. We should go