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August 26, 1922


JAMA. 1922;79(9):740-741. doi:10.1001/jama.1922.02640090048018

A study of the scientific literature of nutrition during the last quarter century or longer will reveal a large amount of attention paid to the standards of requirement. The question as to how much is desirable or how little is essential recurs again and again, whether in reference to calories, protein, inorganic nutrients, vitamins or to some other factor related to the diet. To many persons, and particularly to physicians of the "old school," it has doubtless often seemed as though the measurement of minimal or optimal nutritive needs has been unduly emphasized. We are reminded that, thanks to dependence on his instincts, tempered with a little common sense, man has survived through the ages without recourse to the balance or the calorimeter; hence the futility, if not actual danger, of turning to new guides to adequate nutrition. There is undoubtedly a vein of truth pervading this argument; but most