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King's College and Nutrition

Teaching Kitchen, c 1920Teaching Kitchen, c 1920King's has a deserved reputation for excellence in this field of science, beginning with the teaching of cookery at King's College for Women during the 1880s, through to work carried out by its successor, the independent Queen Elizabeth College, which eventually (re)merged with King's in 1985.

Its courses examined all aspects of public health including nutrition, hygiene and bacteriology.

King's work took place against the background of rapid advances in understanding the biochemistry of food and in the recognition of the role of vitamins in the prevention of disease.

Nutritional Survey, 1936Nutritional Survey, 1936A Department of Nutrition was opened at King's College of Household and Social Science in 1945 (after 1954 called Queen Elizabeth College) and in 1954 the first Professor of Nutrition - John Yudkin - was elected.

Yudkin had already acquired a formidable reputation for research undertaken at the respected Dunn Nutrition Laboratory in Cambridge, and under his fruitful stewardship the Department at Queen Elizabeth notably explored the science of slimming, linking successful weight loss to changes to lifestyle and attributing weight gain in modern societies to 'people eating too much and exercising too little'.

Yudkin also alerted the public to what he saw as the dangers posed by excessive intake of sugar in the modern diet.

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