The main emphasis of nutritional study, until within comparatively recent years, was placed on a consideration of the energy or calorie value of a diet. A diet was considered sufficient or otherwise depending on the number of calories it contained. The modern trend in nuitrition, however, has tended to follow an opposite direction—the quantitative aspect has been relegated to a subsidiary position, and the quality of the diet is now considered as of supreme importance. In this qualitative assessment vitamins have been placed in the forefront, and there has been a tendency to overstress the nutritional importance of these essentials to the exclusion of perhaps as important dietary constituents.
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