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February 5, 1955


JAMA. 1955;157(6):514. doi:10.1001/jama.1955.02950230028017

Highly technical knowledge regarding nutrition, finding its way into popular articles in newspapers and magazines, often becomes a basis for ridiculous fads. What the public needs is not more scientific detail but more practical instruction in how to apply sound nutritional principles.1 Sebrell2 has drawn attention to various kinds of food fads. The drinking of tea and coffee, which originated in fads, and which in no way aids nutrition, is now firmly implanted in national custom. The chief disadvantage of these beverages is their deflection of money and appetite from products of greater nutritional value. More recently the public, unaware that vitamins are required in minute amounts and that in themselves they supply neither energy nor tissues, has taken to dosing itself with various vitamin concentrates in the hope of renewing lost vigor. A particularly vicious type of fad is the avoidance of certain nutritious foods because they