Health of the population 1904

In 1904, the Interdepartmental Committee on Physical Deterioration, wrote a report to look at the overall health of the UK population, particularly in respect of nutrition.
The report was written following a document from the Director General of the Army Medical Services, in which he states his concern, that recruitment for troops for the Boer War was hampered by the lack of physically strong and fit men.
Much of the report concentrated on children.
The committee found that children were being breast-fed less and less, largely due to the chronic ill-health of their working class mothers who were living in poverty, in slum conditions.
The increase in women working in industry also meant fewer children were being breast-fed.
In some areas as many as 1 in 4 children died before their first birthday.

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