The Impact of Improved Nutrition on Disease Prevention

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


In the 20th century, major progress was made in the near elimination of many nutritional deficiencies disorders in the United States such as rickets, pellagra, iodine deficiency, infantile scurvy, iron deficiency due to hookworm, and subclinical levels of vitamin A deficiency and folate deficiency. The vitamins and their roles in human health were characterized, and dietary requirements were established. The landmark studies of Joseph Goldberger revealed that the cause of pellagra was nutritional rather than infectious. The fortification of foodstuffs, nutrition education, home gardening, and federally supported feeding programs all were aimed at improving the nutrition of the U.S. population. The American diet also evolved in light of the newer knowledge of nutrition. Despite the tremendous advances in the 20th century, obesity and other challenges remain for nutrition and public health efforts in the 21st century.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSilent Victories
Subtitle of host publicationThe History and Practice of Public Health in Twentieth Century America
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780199865185
ISBN (Print)0195150694, 9780195150698
StatePublished - Sep 1 2009


  • 20th century
  • Food fortification
  • Joseph goldberger
  • Nutrition
  • Nutritional deficiency
  • Pellagra
  • Public health
  • Rickets
  • Scurvy
  • Vitamins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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