Publication details for Professor Peter AtkinsAtkins, P.J. (2003). Mother's milk and infant death in Britain, circa 1900-1940. Anthropology of Food 2.
- Publication type: Journal Article
- ISSN/ISBN: 1609-9168
- Further publication details on publisher web site
- Durham Research Online (DRO) - may include full text
Author(s) from Durham
My contribution to this journal issue is to reconstruct the darker side of the most popular of infant foods. I will give a brief overview of contamination and disease in Britain's milk supply between 1880 and 1940, with particular reference to the impact upon infants. Not surprisingly, young children consumed a substantial proportion of market milk and, as a result, they seem to have suffered heavily from diseases such as bovine tuberculosis and summer diarrhoea. I will ask why these children were not wholly breast-fed and why relying upon artificial foods was such a risk. Also, I will give a preliminary report on my findings from data I have collected on the feeding of over three million infants, as recorded in the Medical Officer of Health Reports of 130 Local Authorities, mainly from England and Wales.