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From Hunger to Malnutrition

The Political Economy of Scientific Knowledge in Europe, 1918–1960


Josep Barona Vilar

Hunger and nutrition are central to public health, social stability and a balanced economy. A powerful interdisciplinary field has recently emerged among demographers, cultural, economic and science historians around food studies.
This book is a study of the historical interactions between diet, hunger and health in contemporary Europe. The author uses archival sources from the League of Nations, the Food and Agriculture Organisation, the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration, the Rockefeller Foundation and the World Health Organisation to show the impact of food shortages on the health of the European population during the first half of the twentieth century. In the context of the international diplomatic reaction and national health and nutritional policies, the book shows how these exceptional circumstances led to new scientific research, the production and circulation of scientific knowledge, and the political role of experts, as a new political economy of scientific knowledge about food and diet was developed during the central decades of the twentieth century.