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Grant number: FA-58006-14

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Sarah W. Tracy
University of Oklahoma, Norman (Norman, OK 73019-3003)

Health Revolutionary: Ancel Keys, Science, War, and the American Diet

This project is a biography of American scientist, health advocate, and writer Ancel Keys, who developed the K Ration during WWII, conducted starvation and rehabilitation research to help guide postwar re-feeding efforts, and introduced Americans to the health benefits of the low-fat and the Mediterranean diets through popular cookbooks. More than any other scientist Keys helped shape 20th-c. American eating habits. His life offers a compelling narrative anchor to discuss larger extra-personal developments within 20th-century American society--within areas as diverse as medicine, public health, the food industry, eating habits, religious pacifism, geopolitics, and popular culture. Keys' story offers a significant point of convergence for the fields of American history, the history of medicine and public health, and food studies--an individual life in dynamic equilibrium with some of the most significant changes taking place in American and European science, politics, and health.

Project fields:
American Studies; History and Philosophy of Science, Technology, and Medicine; History of Science

Fellowships for University Teachers

Research Programs

Total amounts:
$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
8/1/2014 – 7/31/2015