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A Study Of English Diets By The Individual Method: Part II. Women

  • E. M. Widdowson (a1) and R. A. McCance (a1)

1. The food intakes of sixty-three women of the English middle class have been studied by the individual method and compared with those of men which were described in a previous paper.

2. The average calorie consumption was 2187 per day. Although it is not suggested that this is the optimum intake, it would appear from these results that the “man value” of a woman is 0·7, and not 0·8 as is usually supposed. The individual calorie consumptions varied from 1453 to 3110 per day.

3. The average daily protein intake was 67 g., and no subject was eating more than 90 g.

4. Fat and carbohydrate contributed almost equally to the calorie value of the diet. The proportion of total calories derived from fat (42·7 per cent.) is higher than any previously recorded figures in Europe or America.

5. The average amount of calcium in the diets was 0·63 g. per day. Fourteen individuals were having less than 0·5 g., and one only 0·23 g.

6. The mean intakes of total and available phosphorus were 1·32 and 1·09 g. respectively.

7. A study has been carried out on six women, whose husbands were unemployed. Their intake of all dietary constituents, except carbohydrate, were considerably lower than were found for the women of the middle class.

Acknowledgments. The authors wish to thank Miss E. E. Franklin for her help with the calculations, Miss A. Cameron for her co-operation with regard to the unemployed, and all the subjects, without whose support the investigation would never have been carried out. One of us (E. M. W.) is indebted to the Medical Eesearch Council for a part-time grant.

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