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On-line version ISSN 2340-7948Print version ISSN 0211-9536


GARCIA GOMEZ, José Joaquín  and  TRESCASTRO LOPEZ, Eva María. Nutritional transition, welfare and health: the case of Alcoy, an industrial city (1852-1928). Dynamis [online]. 2017, vol.37, n.2, pp.389-411. ISSN 2340-7948.

The Nutritional Transition describes the passage from a vegetarian, monotonous, local and inadequate diet to one based on the consumption of cereals, legumes, and potatoes but with a greater presence of meat, fruit, sugar and vegetable fats. This article, framed within the first stage of the nutritional transition, analyses the composition of the average diet in the city of Alcoy and compares it with the nutritional needs of the population, exploring the relationship between dietary changes and health indicators (e.g., height, mortality) during the industrial revolution. We compiled six diets for the period 1852-1928, finding a steady increase in the consumption of calories, proteins and carbohydrates in Alcoy over this time period, thereby initiating the nutritional transition that took place in the middle of the 19th century. Comparison of nutritional with health indictors showed that the gross increase in nutritional input was not always accompanied by an increase in height or decrease in mortality, due to the hard working conditions of the children and teenagers and due to an increase in morbidity linked to the urban overcrowding, lack of sewerage and poor quality of water and food. An increase in height and reduction in mortality did not take place until the end of the 19th century and early 20th century due to: a real increase in wages and in the supply of food, with the accompanying nutritional transition; the development of nutritional science; and the implementation of sanitary reform, improving the population's standard of living.

Keywords : Food consumption; Nutritional Transition; Alcoy; Welfare; Industrialization.

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