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Medicina y Seguridad del Trabajo

versión impresa ISSN 0465-546X


MOTTA, Giovanna. The history, the food, the health: A bond always more tight between feeding and medicine. Med. segur. trab. [online]. 2010, vol.56, n.218, pp.93-99. ISSN 0465-546X.

In the Ancien Regime societies, during the age of Enlightment, the influence of scientific and rational thinking paved the way top a new medical culture. In this new medical approach, food habits dramatically changed. Alimentation assumed a social role and a deeper attention was devoted to health. Doctors started to focus on diet, hygienic conditions, environmental quality. Since Middle Age specific works (tractati) were devoted to food properties by indicating benefits of some foods and warning against others. Doctors prescribed fasting as a therapy. Henceforth a deeper relation between health and food was established. The recipe books (ricettari) of hospitals reported the appropriate purpose of foods, vegetables and herbs, fruits and salads whose pictures appeared in naturalist as well as in cooking books. The excessive and luxurious banquets of the aristocracy were subsequently replaced by the cheaper meals of the Bourgeoisie, although the burghers used food as a way to mark social differences. As the scientific knowledge advanced food habits became healthier through centuries. A basic concept to avoid alimentary excesses prevailed in contemporary age.

Palabras clave : Alimentation; health; food habits; meal; banquet; society; bourgeoisie; medicine.

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