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JAMA Revisited
May 1, 2018

Sugar in War Time

Author Affiliations

April 6, 1918

JAMA. 1918;70(14):1003.

JAMA. 2018;319(17):1826. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.12358

During recent months, many physicians have been asked regarding the possible effects of the various newly imposed or proposed dietary restrictions or innovations on the health of the individual. Despite the widespread acquiesence [sic] of our population in the dictates of the national and state food administrations, there is not unnaturally a frequent final appeal to the members of the medical profession for approval of such changes as have been proposed in the interest of the movement to help win the war. Among other plans for conservation, a reduction in the use of sugar has been urgently requested and, indeed, made inevitable at times when local shortage has curtailed the available supply so that the customary quota is not forthcoming. A summary compiled for the War Emergency Food Survey Section of the Bureau of Markets1 furnishes facts that will enable us to draw conclusions more definite than those permitted by vague generalizations from intangible sources. The most pertinent information is that respecting the actual use of sugar in the United States in recent years. The amount consumed in 1917 was approximately 9,100,000,000 pounds, or 88.3 pounds per capita. In 1916 it amounted to 8,300,000,000, or 84.7 pounds per capita. It is thus apparent that if these statistics are correct there has been some increase in the consumption of sugar.