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History Cookbook

Edwardian and WW1 Picture Gallery Health 

The Edwardian diet caused many health problems.
In an age when wealthy people were eating up to 8 or 10 rich dishes during one meal, keeping weight down was not easy.  More
The diet of poor people was very bad, the health of children being a particular concern
The diet of poor people was very bad. Many suffered from malnutrition.
Even if there was enough food, the quality and nutritional value was so low, people could not stay healthy. Statistics at the beginning of the Edwardian period showed that the health of many people, particularly children, was no better than it had been in the 1840s.  More
One survey found that about a quarter of the people of London did not have enough to live on.
Charles Booth, a rich ship-owner, made a huge survey of the poor of London. He set out to prove that there were less poor people than 'reformers' claimed. He found just the opposite. More
Poverty saw many health problems go untreated.
With wages too low to live properly, parents would not call a doctor for their children unless they were desperate. Living conditions were overcrowded and dirty, encouraging problems at a time when medical care cost money that most people just could not afford.  More
Woman often risked their own health to feed their families
Women often risked their own health to feed their families.
The women of a poor family would often go hungry, to make sure their family had enough to eat. More
The era saw the first free school meals.
Compulsory education had started in the previous century. It had soon been realised that hungry children cannot learn. In 1906, a law was passed which allowed for school canteens and free school meals for the poorest children. More
The era also saw the introduction of the old age pension and National Insurance.
The Liberal government also introduced pensions in 1908 for the over 70s and National Insurance in 1911 to help the elderly, the unemployed and the sick. More
Knowledge about nutrition was poor.
In general, there were very few people, rich or poor, who understood much about nutrition. This lack of understanding meant that when families did have money, they would not necessarily spend it on foods with the greatest nutritional value. More
Drink was a big social problem.
There were thousands of people who were prosecuted for drunkenness. To try and solve the drink problem, in 1909 a Children's Act prohibited children under 14 from entering the bar of a public house. More
The Edwardians very much believed that fresh air was good for you.
The insides of houses were lighter than Victorian houses had been, with larger windows that were left open. Outdoor activities were popular, particularly picnics and trips to the seaside. More
This period did see the start of women taking more exercise.
Sports clothes became popular and women's dress in general became lighter and more comfortable. More
Most people still used old remedies made from herbs and spices.
Although there were more and more medicines available in shops, people still used remedies that had been passed down from generation to generation. This was particulary true in poorer, rural areas where the local doctors and communities were more removed from the new developments and medicines that were being used in the towns and cities. More
There were several important scientific discoveries made during this era.
Their impact was limited in Edwardian times but would prove to be very beneficial to people's health in the future. These included amino acids, vitamins A and D, hormones, radium, genetic heredity, and X-rays. More
The death toll in WW1 was very high
The death toll in WW1 was very high.
Fighting continued on the Western Front until 11 a.m. on November 11th, 1918. By that time, 772,000 British soldiers had been killed and 1,676,037 wounded. More
In WW1, some of the men who were fighting suffered terrible mental health problems.
Many suffered from shell shock and other mental problems that lasted for many years. More

Burns Night Crannachan
Toast the oatmeal in a frying pan on a high heat until lightly brownBlend the raspberries in a...