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July 12, 1919


JAMA. 1919;73(2):107-108. doi:10.1001/jama.1919.02610280035011

The act of mastication has lately attained new prominence in human physiologic routine from two different circumstances: first, the vigorous advocacy of thorough mastication as the basis to hygienic well-being. It is largely owing to the propagandist energies of the late Mr. Horace Fletcher that the doctrine of deliberate mastication has been widely preached; and "fletcherism" has gained many adherents among that omnipresent group which is searching for the secret of a better existence through improved health. One of the claims made in favor of thorough mastication as advocated by Fletcher is that the extreme comminution of the food and the more effective insalivation promote the digestion and utilization of the nutrients. Despite the plausibility of this argument there is an abundance of experimental evidence to show that the nutrients in the common food products are absorbed in large measure even under ordinary habits of eating. It is exceptional to

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