In 1966, in England and Wales, there were about six million persons aged 65 and over, more than 12 per cent of the total population. In 1901, the figures were one and a half million accounting for 5 percent of the population. The rise in the number of the aged, a four-fold increase, has been much faster than the rise among other age groups The number of children aged 0-14 is, today, almost exactly the same as the number in 1911.
WITH the inception of the National Health Service in 1948 the scope of general practice was enlarged to provide free medical care for each and every member of the community. It was envisaged at the same time that the general practitioner would become a 'family doctor', establishing a personal relationship with each of his patients similar to that previously enjoyed by only a small proportion of the population. In the event, a number of factors have made this difficult to achieve.
In July 1965, the Office of Health Economics held a colloquium on Surveillance and Early Diagnosis in General Practice at Magdalen College, Oxford. It was apparent from the discussion at this meeting that General Practitioners believed that if they were to act effectively in this field, they had to have clear cut information on current screening methods and the impact of early diagnosis of disease on the long term health of the patient. As a result of this view an Advisory Committee was set up by the Office of Health Economics.
ONE of the problems in Britain today is that too little of its academic research is associated with successful innovation in industry. The result is that we have contributed generously to the world stock of fundamental knowledge, but we have failed to benefit commensurately in terms of earnings from the sale of innovations in world markets.
The economic and social history of the twentieth century paints a picture of substantial improvement for the community as a whole. Poverty and hardship for large sections of the population in the 1920s and 1930s was replaced in the 1950s and 1960s by full employment and all the attractions of a 'boom' economy. The purpose of this paper is to assess the extent to which these improvements are reflected in the state of nutrition of the public and the consequent reduction in the prevalence of malnutrition.