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May 25, 1957


Author Affiliations

Dallas, Texas

From the Department of Pediatrics, University of Texas Southwestern Medical School and the Children's Medical Center and Parkland Memorial Hospital.

JAMA. 1957;164(4):408-411. doi:10.1001/jama.1957.62980040008012

Man has been practicing nutrition since his appearance on this earth; yet in spite of this long interest in and association with foods, our present knowledge of human nutrition is limited. A great deal of prejudice, faddism, and crooked, illogical thinking clouds the whole field of nutrition. This state of uncertainty is in large measure unavoidable; it results from the complexities of the evaluation of nutrition, particularly in humans.

Nutrition plays an important role in pediatrics. Here physicians have a real opportunity to influence the eating habits and, therefore, the health of the nation. The cardinal principle of pediatric nutritional education is to make the eating of a wide variety of natural foodstuffs a pleasurable experience for the child and also for his mother. It is largely our ignorance of every essential food factor and our inability to specify adequate amounts of the known ones that make this principle a