A few weeks ago a correspondent to The Times suggested that there was a good case for the establishment of a Nutrition Council and in a recent issue of the British Medical Journal a leading article is devoted to this subject. While all will agree that the war has made us very foodconscious, and that this ensures that for some years the times will continue to be very propitious for acceptance by the public of expert advice upon food, the need for the suggested Council will be questioned for as The Times correspondent reminds us, there are already many Bodies concerned in some way or other with nutrition. For instance, there are the Ministry of Food, the Ministry of Health, the Medical Research Council, the newlyformed Nutrition Society, the Cabinet Advisory Committee on Food Policy, the Board of Education, the Ministry of Labour and National Service, the Agricultural Research Council, the Food Investigation Board, the Department of Scientific and Industrial Researchall of which have food problems to solve. Of these Bodies the wartime Ministry of Food has been the most successful in stirring the public interest in nutrition as the basis of good health, and so impressing the necessity for making a wise selection of food articles in our daily diet. While much of the advice offered is shaped to meet wartime circumstances, the success achieved should lead to the adoption of similar methods by any organisation dealing with future peacetime conditions. But there is much technical information that loudly calls for expert coordination and appraisal, aided by international cooperation and this fact favours the formation of a Nutrition Council embracing the highest authorities upon Food and Nutrition. Such a Council would be useful also as a stimulating agency for research, assuming that it is able to foot the bill for there remain many gaps in our knowledge of the subject of Nutrition. As suggested in the British Medical Journal article, such research should be directed upon coordinated lines among the various sciences that converge upon the kitchen table. Lord Horder takes the view that the proposed new Body should be constituted as a Committee of the Privy Council, and so enjoy many advantages that are lacking, in varying degree, among existing organisations above referred to. All information collected by a Nutrition Council which is of essential importance to the public would be conveyed to them by experts in publicity, by every available means, in discharge of its functions as a bureau of information upon the subject of Nutrition and if this is done in the direct and simple terms that make understanding easy to the masses, its publicity department will not lack success. After full consideration the conclusion is forced upon us that a Nutrition Council would fulfil really useful purposes for there is much that remains but partly, and sometimes poorly, done by agencies working independently. It would be a great gain to concentrate our efforts in one powerful Body dedicated to the sole object of the improvement of our foodsupply and our national nutrition.
British Food Journal – Emerald Publishing
Published: Oct 1, 1942
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