NUTRITION REVIEWS’ ONE-HALF CENTURY: AN APPRECIATION lmin H. Rosenberg, M.D.,Editor Forty-nine years ago, in November 1942, the first issue of Volume I of Nutrition Reviews was published. In January 1992 we will publish the inaugural issue of the 50th anniversary volume of Nutrition Reviews. As befits such a jubilee, there will be many new things in the next issue, not the least a full-page 8Y2“ x 11“ format. As only the fourth editor of this journal in its nearly 50 years, I will have several things to say about our plans and hopes for the future in the January issue. This, the closing and index issue of the 49th year, gives us an opportunity to look back in appreciation at the last half century. The science of nutrition has advanced so rapidly in recent years that professional people who need to keep abreast of current progress have experienced increasing difficulty in attempting to sift the wheat from the chaff. Clearly there has been a very wasteful delay and no little confusion in bridging the gaps between substantial research findings and their acceptance with confidence on the part of those who deal with the public. A basic difficulty arises from the fact that research journals through which current findings are normally made known are so scattered and varied in nature that relatively few people have an opportunity to read and evaluate them. The factors of time, language difficulty, library facilities, and limited familiarity with the criteria of good research reports tend to restrict the group that can follow the literature critically and regularly to a few who are themselves actively engaged in research. The words of the two paragraphs above are not my own, although they could well

be the current as well as the original statement of goals for this journal. They were written by Charles Glen King, then the Scientific Director of the Nutrition Foundation, who went on to say that, “The publication of Nutrition Reviews has been undertaken, therefore, to provide an authoritative, unbiased, editorially interpreted review of the world’s current research progress in the science of nutrition.” To initiate that process, Dr. King appointed an energetic young nutrition scientist from Harvard, Dr. Fredrick J. Stare, to be the first editor. Their goal was to select an editorial staff and a staff of contributing editors who could provide authoritative and critical analysis of the expanding scientific literature and thus serve an important function in research and in the education of professionals and scholars in the fields of nutrition and food science. Editor Stare and the subsequent editors in this 50-year span, Mark Hegsted and Robert Olson, have each brought their special vision and creativity to the editorship of this journal while following the clear beacon lit by Glen King in Volume I, number. 1. These editors have been active and productive scientists, themselves involved not only in the research enterprise, but also in leadership positions in nutrition science and medicine. Under their guidance, the journal has expanded its scope in some of its reviewing methods as nutrition science has expanded and evolved over five decades. The first issues were published in the early years of World War II when, again in King’s words: “The war emergency has done much to jar the nation from its lethargy concerning the critical importance of b

nutrition in building and protecting human health.” The first brief critical review of Volume I was entitled “Feeding the Army and the Navy,” and that issue went on to consider such topics as: “Niacin content of foods,” “Synthesis of B vitamins by intestinal bacteria,” “Vitamin K and tooth decay,” “Muscle dystrophy and vitamin E deficiency,” “The food and nutrition of industrial workers in war time,” and “Biotin in human nutrition.” Indeed, the latter review was a critical statement bringing recognition to a recent report that the “anti-egg white factor” is also a significant nutritional factor in human nutrition. There was no diet and heart hypothesis at that time, and the structures of folic acid and vitamin B,* were still a few years from elucidation. Yet even in Volume I of Nutrition Reviews there was a publication of one of the earliest versions of the Recommended Dietary Allowances, thus signaling a concern of this journal with public policy issues on the national and international scene which went beyond the then-current nutritional concerns relating to wartime. A report by Frank Boudreau of the food conference in Hot Springs detailed the decision of the Conference to “build upon the work in Food and Nutrition already accomplished by the League of Nations,” a decision that later resulted in the formation of the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization. A fascinating review entitled “Nutrition and Resistance to Disease” clearly identified one of the scientific themes of the next half-century. With the evolution of nutritional science came innovations in Nutrition Reviews. The first issues had only two categories: short authoritative reviews and Nutrition Noteswhich ranged from obituaries to meeting announcements and book reviews. Over the next years new educational categories

were introduced: the more extensive and detailed lead and signed review; the clinical case as a basis for discussing the importance of understanding nutritional biochemistry and physiology in patient management, while at the same time addressing the growing importance of nutritional therapeutics in medicine; the nutrition classic to help both scientists and students focus on the origins of important concepts; and the special report, which presents detailed descriptions of the science base upon which public policy is being made or official descriptions of that policy so as to advise and even stimulate reactions from nutrition scientists and professionals. The reviews have always ranged over a variety of topics, from public health nutrition, to human nutrition, clinical nutrition, animal nutrition, food science, and dietetics. By almost all measures, the journal has succeeded in its mission in this half-century. With its subscribership of over 5,000 and an estimated readership of twice that number it is the most widely used review journal in the field and one of the two or three most widely read journals in nutrition. All the more reason to build upon this strength and to continue to make innovations in the next 50 years. This editorial is dedicated to those three creative and visionary editors who along with Glen King have shaped Nutrition Reviews. What is most pleasing is to note that all three are still actively writing and contributing to the field that they had so much to do with nurturing; so let me express the appreciation of my colleagues, all the previous readers, and all the people who have benefitted from their leadership over this remarkable period in the history of nutrition.

Nutrition reviews' one-half century: an appreciation.

NUTRITION REVIEWS’ ONE-HALF CENTURY: AN APPRECIATION lmin H. Rosenberg, M.D.,Editor Forty-nine years ago, in November 1942, the first issue of Volume...
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