Hygiene, Nutritional

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Hygiene, Nutritional


a branch of hygiene that studies the problems of complete and sound nutrition of the healthy human being. Dietetics—a developing branch of nutritional hygiene—studies the nutrition of the ill and develops principles of therapeutic nutrition. The study of infant nutrition is also an independent branch of nutritional hygiene. Nutritional hygiene studies human nutrition in relation to sex, age, occupation, type of work, physical load, climatic conditions, and national and other characteristics. It also studies the quantitative and qualitative aspects of the nutrition of the populations of various regions and determines people’s requirements for nutritional substances according to their conditions of life and work.

The practical tasks of nutritional hygiene include development of sound nutrition in work groups (plants, sovkhozes, and kolkhozes) and for children in schools and preschool and other institutions. Nutritional hygiene also develops prophylactic nutrition for workers in enterprises with occupational hazards and works out methods of effective sanitary control in public eating places and the food industry, in order to prevent the possible development of harmful substances in food products. In addition, nutritional hygiene devises measures to prevent food poisoning, toxic infections, and intoxication. It develops means of preventive supervision over the design, construction, and use of enterprises of the food industry, as well as supervision of merchandising and public eating places. Nutritional hygiene is involved in developing all-union state standards and temporary technical conditions for new commodities.

In the USSR scientific research in the field of nutritional hygiene is done by the Institute of Nutrition of the Academy of Medical Sciences of the USSR in Moscow, scientific research laboratories and departments of republic sanitary-hygiene institutes, and branch institutes of the cereal, meat, dairy, canning, dried vegetable, and confectionery industries. Practical problems of nutritional hygiene are solved by public health monitoring organizations, which perform local sanitary inspection—food departments of republic, oblast, city, and raion sanitary-epidemiologic stations. Questions of nutritional hygiene are discussed in journals, including Voprosy pitaniia (Problems of Nutrition, since 1932) and Gigiena i sanitariia (Hygiene and Sanitation, since 1936).

Foreign socialist countries are working on the development of principles of sound nutrition—the organization of nutrition of the population on scientific-hygienic foundations, taking into account the nature of work, age, and other factors. Numerous nutrition institutes and nutritional hygiene subdepartments in all these countries are involved in this work.

Scientists in developed capitalist nations are occupied principally with the in-depth study of the biological properties of nutritional substances. In many developing nations, where the problems of protein-calorie deficiency are very immediate, nutritional hygiene involves primarily the search for supplementary sources of protein.

Significant research in the field of nutritional hygiene is conducted and coordinated by the World Health Organization (Committee of Experts of the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization and the World Health Organization). Contemporary problems of nutritional hygiene are elucidated in a series of reports and in certain publications of the World Health Organization.


Petrovskii, K. S. Gigiena pitaniia. Moscow, 1964.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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