From the Obituary Notice of Elsie Widdowson, 93

a Pioneer in Nutrition

I often read the obituaries. Although this is not a new habit, it is much more poignant now. Every once in a while though, I spot a gem. Here is one:

Dr. Widdowson worked her entire career in nutrition, certainly at a time when most women did NOT have a career.

The British Nutrition Foundation stated that: "There is no branch of nutrition science, past or present, that has not been influenced in some way by the results of her pioneering work".

She was asked to study children in two different German orphanages after World War II. From the New York Times: "She was amazed to find that children who had been given extra bread, jam and orange juice did WORSE in terms of development and growth than those who had not.

The difference, Dr. Widdowson surmised, could be explained only by the personality of the director at the orphanage where extra nutrition was provided. She was "stern and forbiding, ruling the home with a rod of iron", Dr. Widdowson wrote. "Children and staff lived in constant fear of her reprimands and criticisms, which were often quite unreasonable."


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