Ancel Keys was one of the most influential nutritionists of the 20th century. At the University of Minnesota, he helped develop the non-perishable, portable military meals called K-rations and during World War II studied the effects of food deprivation on conscientious objectors in the “Minnesota Starvation Experiment.” After the War, Keys launched the first longitudinal study of diet and cardiovascular disease, which became the Seven Countries Study that identified dietary saturated fat as a major cause of coronary heart disease. This risk factor has been increasingly challenged in the 21st century.
- Wikipedia biography
- Wikipedia article on the K-ration
- Wikipedia article on the Minnesota Starvation Experiment
- historical account of starvation experiment in Journal of Nutrition
- Wikipedia article on the Seven Countries Study
- an appreciation by Keys’ colleague Henry Blackburn
- oral history at University of Minnesota