Disease in 19th century Brazil: nutrition as prevention in publications by the School of Medicine of Rio de Janeiro (1832-­1889)

Cristiana de Loureiro Mendonça Couto

Abstract


This aim of the present study was to contribute to the discussions on health and diseases prevention in 19th century Brazil by analyzing medical dissertations defended at the School of Medicine of Rio de Janeiro. Those dissertations reflect the scientific, political and economical changes underwent by Brazil at that time, being that many of them were elaborated at time of epidemic breakouts, and thus are devoted to topics of public health and hygiene. The present analysis emphasizes the role of food in diseases prevention, and allowed identifying aspects of continuity with older notions on diet, which were not erased by the new knowledge on nutrition introduced by chemistry and experimental physiology.


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