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National Nutrition Survey

Philip L. White, ScD
JAMA. 1973;223(11):1272-1273. doi:10.1001/jama.1973.03220110050015.
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The National Nutrition Survey, which emerged in 1972 from the maze of field studies, laboratories, computer analysis, and committee review, was published in five overwhelming volumes (plus a summary). The four years of work was culminated by the frantic effort of the Nutrition Program of the Center for Disease Control, which inherited the data after the field studies were completed. Only two members remain of Dr. Arnold E. Schaefer's original staff of 69 who began the surveys in 1968-1969. Considering the political overtones that permeated nearly every phase of the study, that a report has finally emerged is a minor miracle.

The purpose of the survey was to determine the magnitude and location of malnutrition and related health problems. Limitations of time, money, and personnel dictated that appropriate samples be selected from the country at large. Ten states were selected (Washington, California, Texas, Louisiana, South Carolina, Kentucky, West Virginia, Michigan,


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