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May 25, 1957


Author Affiliations

Los Angeles

Chairman, Department of Physiological Chemistry, University of California Medical Center.

JAMA. 1957;164(4):411-412. doi:10.1001/jama.1957.62980040011012a

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The significant increase in life expectancy in the United States and the growing percentage of the total population in the over-65 age group have intensified interest in the nutritional problems of the aged. Although it is doubtful if fundamental distinctions exist between nutritional requirements in middle and in advanced age, the distressing incidence of arteriosclerosis, coronary thrombosis, and cerebral vascular accidents has nevertheless raised questions about the possible relation of these diseases to the dietary habits of older adults and to the composition of common foods.

Lipids are frequently designated as dietary culprits, and, in some circles, the terms "fat" and "cholesterol" have become synonymous with atherogenesis and diaster. How much is an optimal quantity of fat, and what should be its chemical nature? The fact that precise answers cannot be given to these fundamental questions emphasizes the urgent need for the reexamination of the role of lipids in nutrition.

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