dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
[personal profile] dcseain
I read How the Mid-Victorians Worked, Ate and Died and found it very, very interesting, and thought you might also. It is a bit long.


I found this paragraph telling:

The fall in nutritional standards between 1880 and 1900 was so marked that the generations were visibly and progressively shrinking. In 1883 the infantry were forced to lower the minimum height for recruits from 5ft 6 inches to 5ft 3 inches. This was because most new recruits were now coming from an urban background instead of the traditional rural background (the 1881 census showed that over three-quarters of the population now lived in towns and cities). Factors such as a lack of sunlight in urban slums (which led to rickets due to Vitamin D deficiency) had already reduced the height of young male volunteers. Lack of sunlight, however, could not have been the sole critical factor in the next height reduction, a mere 18 years later. By this time, clean air legislation had markedly improved urban sunlight levels; but unfortunately, the supposed ‘improvements’ in dietary intake resulting from imported foods had had time to take effect on the 16–18 year old cohort. It might be expected that the infantry would be able to raise the minimum height requirement back to 5ft. 6 inches. Instead, they were forced to reduce it still further, to a mere 5ft. British officers, who were from the middle and upper classes and not yet exposed to more than the occasional treats of canned produce, were far better fed in terms of their intake of fresh foods and were now on average a full head taller than their malnourished and sickly men.

Date: 2013-03-25 12:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] castleclear.livejournal.com
Thanks! I very much enjoyed reading all of this article. This not only gave me a bit more insight into what's presently thought about Victorian society, but got me thinking (again) about the changes in nutrition post World War I.

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dcseain: Cast shot of me playing my violin in role of minstrel in the Two Gentlemen of Verona (Default)
dcseain

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