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The origin of food faddism is traced back to Elisha Perkins who in 1796 discovered the "secret of perpetual good health." It might be said that he was the first great American quack. Since that time, many others have come into prominence. The book does not try to catalogue fully every quack or faddist but merely to give the reader an informative glimpse into this overpopulated field. There are very few people at the present time who have not in some way been affected by curious nutritional concepts.
During the 19th century, very little was known about human nutrition. Medicine also seemed stalemated at this time although doctors were beginning to understand more about the human body and a great body of scientific information was being built. It was during this era that people such as John Harvey Kellogg and Charles Post were able to exert such influence upon the
Philip L. White. The Nuts Among the Berries. JAMA. 1962;181(12):1095. doi:10.1001/jama.1962.03050380073024