Nutritionally Deficient Food for Soldiers at Gallipoli Caused Illness
According to a study, nutritionally deficient food given to New Zealand soldiers at Gallipoli probably caused scurvy and other illnesses. The research conducted by Massey and Otago universities, was published in the NZ Medical Journal.
It assessed modern-day foods similar to the military rations of 1915. The rations on Gallipoli comprised mostly bully beef, biscuits and jam. These food items were low in vitamin A, C and E and potassium, selenium and dietary fiber.
Dr Nick Wilson from Otago University said that the food not only caused scurvy, but lack of nutrition also reduced resistance to dysentery and typhoid. This reduced resistance attributed to the deaths of more than 200 New Zealanders at Gallipoli.
Dr. Wilson added that even modest amounts of fruits and vegetables would have prevented the nutritional problems in the troops.
Massey University professor of war history Glyn Harper said the quality of food was so bad that the food came back when it was thrown even at the enemy. It came back with a note "send tobacco yes, bully beef - no".
Professor Harper added that military planners did not expect the campaign to be so long and situation was exacerbated when men were on the peninsula. It became extremely difficult to supply food to them.
New Zealand News
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