Vitamania: Vitamins in American Culture / Edition 1

Vitamania: Vitamins in American Culture / Edition 1

by Rima Apple
     
 


 "Have you taken your vitamins today?" That question echoes daily through American households. Thanks to intensive research in nutrition and medicine, the importance of vitamins to health is undisputed. But millions of Americans believe that the vitamins they get in their food are not enough. Vitamin supplements have become a multibillion-dollar… See more details below

Overview


 "Have you taken your vitamins today?" That question echoes daily through American households. Thanks to intensive research in nutrition and medicine, the importance of vitamins to health is undisputed. But millions of Americans believe that the vitamins they get in their food are not enough. Vitamin supplements have become a multibillion-dollar industry. At the same time, many scientists, consumer advocacy groups, and the federal Food and Drug Administration doubt that most people need to take vitamin pills.

Vitamania tells how and why vitamins have become so important to so many Americans. Rima Apple examines the claims and counterclaims of scientists, manufacturers, retailers, politicians, and consumers from the discovery of vitamins in the early twentieth century to the present. She reveals the complicated interests--scientific, professional, financial--that have propelled the vitamin industry and its would-be regulators. From early advertisements linking motherhood and vitamin D, to Linus Pauling's claims for vitamin C, to recent congressional debates about restricting vitamin products, Apple's insightful history shows the ambivalence of Americans toward the authority of science. She also documents how consumers have insisted on their right to make their own decisions about their health and their vitamins.

Vitamania makes fascinating reading for anyone who takes--or refuses to take--vitamins. It will be of special interest to students, scholars, and professionals in public health, the biomedical sciences, history of medicine and science, twentieth-century history, nutrition, marketing, and consumer studies.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780813522784
Publisher:
Rutgers University Press
Publication date:
06/01/1996
Series:
Health and Medicine Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
264
Sales rank:
1,446,973
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.60(d)

Related Subjects

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgments
Introduction: "Perhaps Your Diet Is Too Modern": The Discovery of Avitaminosis1
Ch. 1"They Need It Now": Popular Science and Advertising in the Interwar Period13
Ch. 2"To Protect the Interest of the Public": Vitamins, Marketing, and Research33
Ch. 3"Superior Knowledge": Pharmacists, Grocers, Physicians, and Linus Pauling54
Ch. 4Miles One-A-Day: The History of a Vitamin Dynasty85
Ch. 5Acnotabs: Scientific Evidence in the Marketplace109
Ch. 6"Millions of Consumers Are Being Misled": The Food and Drug Administration and Consumer Protection125
Ch. 7"Preserve Our Health Freedom": Science in Consumer Politics144
Ch. 8"Intensity" Makes the Difference: Vitamins in the Political Process158
Conclusion: Vitamania?: Vitamins in Late Twentieth-Century United States179
Notes199
Index233

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