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April 26, 1947


JAMA. 1947;133(17):1282. doi:10.1001/jama.1947.02880170028008

Most physicians are now well aware of the importance of nutrition and believe it should be given greater attention in the teaching of medicine. Since the curriculum is full, however, the proposal does not demand establishment of a new division or the segregation of nutrition in a single department. While the fundamentals of medicine are being taught by the physiologist and the biochemist, the practical application of the science of nutrition may be integrated with the teaching conducted in the clinical branches. Consideration of nutrition is just as important in surgery1 as in medicine and pediatrics; in obstetrics2 its importance transcends many other factors.

Pellagra, sprue, beriberi, scurvy and the other deficiency diseases are probably receiving adequate attention, but these disorders are of minor importance compared with the borderline states of nutritive failure. Inadequate nutrition is related to vague ill health and retardation of recovery from many diseases.