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The science of nutrition and healthy eating
The science of nutrition and healthy eating

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5.1 Food in the Second World War

Before the Second World War, much of the protein part of the British diet (meat, eggs and cheese) was imported (Figure 20).

A photo of a small bowl of meet (beef) two eggs and a few slices of cheese.
Figure 20 These sources of protein were imported to the UK before the Second World War

After the war began in 1939, there were fears that a blockade of the coast would prevent these food imports, leading to significant changes in the nation’s diet. This might even result in the population being unable to stay healthy and productive. Two nutrition experts from the University of Cambridge (whose names you might recognise) decided to see if they, and a group of colleagues, could stay ‘fighting fit’ on a diet containing much less protein than was usually consumed. Their story was featured in an article in the Guardian newspaper [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] in September 2013 (Dawes, 2013).