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June 2, 1945


JAMA. 1945;128(5):344-350. doi:10.1001/jama.1945.02860220026007

Few fields of medicine are moving forward as rapidly as the field of nutrition. Certainly few offer greater opportunity for scientific research and its application to the problems of nutrition and health. On the other hand some aspects of this problem, like the death of Mark Twain, have been greatly exaggerated. Much of the exaggeration has come from those exploiting the vitamins, some from pseudoscientific food faddists and some from studies inadequately controlled with unwarranted emphasis placed on single case reports. These unfortunate exaggerations have stimulated the enthusiast and have provoked distrust in the conservative. These and other reasons make it fitting to review discriminately some of the facts and fallacies of nutrition as it concerns the pregnant woman.

Nutrition as a whole or in any of its parts cannot exceed the optimum, which was Pirquet's term for "the amount desirable under given circumstances." "Superadequacy" cannot exist, but superabundance does