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June 17, 1961

Diet as Related to Gastrointestinal Function

Author Affiliations

Boston; Pittsburgh; New York City; Boston; New Haven, Conn.; Boston

Professor of Medicine, Tufts University School of Medicine (Dr. Weinstein); Professor and Head, Department of Biochemistry and Nutrition, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh (Dr. Olson); Director of Medicine, St. Luke's Hospital (Dr. Van Itallie); Instructor in Nutrition and Chronic Disease, Department of Public Health Practice, Harvard University School of Public Health (Mrs. Caso); Assistant Professor, Department of Public Health, Yale University School of Medicine, (Dr. Johnson); and Professor of Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine (Dr. Ingelfinger).

JAMA. 1961;176(11):935-941. doi:10.1001/jama.1961.63040240006013

FOODS ARE OFTEN blamed when persons, otherwise healthy, complain of heartburn, eructation, low thoracic or abdominal burning, "hyperacidity," abdominal fullness, bloating, pressure, aching, pain, "gas," borborygmi, excessive "activity," flatulence, constipation, and diarrhea. When gastrointestinal disorders underlie such symptoms, their degree is believed to be enhanced by some foods and diminished by others. To evaluate the validity of such correlations between food and gastrointestinal symptomatology, the committee has surveyed current dietary practices and has critically examined the rationale and much of the evidence underlying such practices. The interpretations and evaluations presented here must be recognized for what they are, namely, a synthesis of tentative opinions held by committee members on the basis of their knowledge of the literature, their experience, and their discussions. Knowledge in this field is far too meager to permit authoritative or final conclusions. The report does not apply to the dietotherapy of infants and young children, nor