The Square Meal

Eating is essential to life, so why is nutrition still so little understood? In this first programme, Roger Bolton visits the army training camp at Pirbright as he traces the historical connections between war and nutrition.



At the turn of the twentieth century, military planners found that many recruits were malnourished, suggesting that large sections of the population at large were not getting enough food. By the outbreak of the Second World War, nutritionists had devised a basic ration that kept the civilian population healthy. In these times of plenty, how can the modern army ensure that its soldiers are properly nourished?


Concrete chips, soggy semolina, lumpy custard - is that how you remember school dinners or did you fare better?
In the second programme in this series about nutrition, Roger Bolton visits his own primary school in Cumbria. He finds out how the lunchtime menu has changed from when he was there forty years ago. And Roger investigates whether children's nutrition is any better now than when the first publicly funded school dinners were introduced nearly a century ago.


For modern athletes, an awareness of the importance of nutrition has become a necessary part of training. And not only what they eat, but when they eat.
In the third programme in this series, Roger Bolton asks what lessons can the rest of us learn from athletes. The more we understand more about the interactions between our food and our genome, the more likely it is that one day each of us will have a personalised nutritional regime, tailored to our specific metabolisms and energy requirements. Eating the right foods could help us live longer and fend off disease

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Faced with vast amounts of information about the food we eat, how do we decide which messages to believe? Roger Bolton investigates.