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The Unconventional Career of Muriel Bell
The Unconventional Career of Muriel Bell

The Unconventional Career of Muriel Bell


196 Pages, 6 x 9.25

Formats: Trade Paper, EPUB, PDF, Mobipocket

Trade Paper, $23.99 (US $23.99) (CA $31.99)

Publication Date: February 2019

ISBN 9781988531304

Rights: US & CA

Otago University Press (Feb 2019)


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Whether or not you have heard of pioneering nutritionist Muriel Bell, she has had a profound effect on your health. Appointed New Zealand's first state nutritionist in 1940, Muriel Bell was behind ground-breaking public health schemes such as milk in schools, iodised salt, and water fluoridation. The first woman in New Zealand to be awarded the research degree of Doctor of Medicine (MD), in 1926, her subsequent pioneering research on vitamins and minerals helped to prevent deficiency diseases, and later, optimise health. Bell's early research into fats and cholesterol tackled the complexity of nutrition-related aspects of coronary heart disease. At the base of her commitment to science lay a deep social concern. Her nutritional advice – common sense to us today but revolutionary at the time – was to eat more fruit, vegetables, and milk products and to cut down on sugar, fat, and meat. Muriel Bell was a trailblazer by anyone's definition, unswervingly committed to the understanding that we are what we eat.

Author Biography

Diana Brown graduated with an MA in history from Otago University, and was awarded a grant by the New Zealand History Research Trust Fund to write this book. She has lived overseas since 2008, working at writing, teaching and curriculum development, editing, and translation.