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Article
July 9, 1932

THE CHANGING DIET OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE

Author Affiliations

Sterling Professor of Physiological Chemistry in Yale University NEW HAVEN, CONN.

JAMA. 1932;99(2):117-120. doi:10.1001/jama.1932.27410540004010
Abstract

The study of anthropology leaves no doubt of the existence of epochs in the evolution of our diet. For the preparation of food, primitive races still use methods that must have been in vogue before the era of cookery. Sun drying, grinding, burying and maceration are ancient devices for rendering edible products more palatable and digestible. Some writers have depicted the happy dietary lot of early man living in a delightful climate in the midst of nature's utmost luxuriance. "The reality," Fitch1 remarks, "was far from this Utopian conception, which was a product of a vivid imagination. The food which he was able to obtain easily was scarcely worth gathering, and in order to satisfy the pangs of hunger and to sustain existence, he was compelled to put himself to much trouble and to undergo many dangers. This is known from the fact that certain races, whose mode of

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