Food Collections

D. Mark Hegsted Papers


Contains selected documents from the D. Mark Hegsted Papers housed at the Center for the History of Medicine in the Francis A. Countway Library at Harvard University.

D. (David) Mark Hegsted (1914-2009) was a Professor of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health, Boston from 1942 to 1980 and also held appointments in the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Harvard Medical School's New England Regional Primate Research Center. Hegsted was the Editor of Nutrition Reviews and served as president of the American Institute of Nutrition (AIN) as well as holding positions on various advisory committees for the World Health Organization, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the National Institutes of Health, and the National Research Council. Hegstedā€™s main areas of research and professional work were nutrition and dietary science, particularly the relationship between food consumption and health.

In the early 1960s, Hegsted and a team of researchers developed a mathematical model known as the 'Hegsted equation' which predicts the effect of fat on human serum cholesterol levels. In the mid-1970s, Hegsted helped to draft the original Dietary Goals for Americans, later adapted into the Federal publication, Dietary Guidelines for Americans which recommended adding more fruit and vegetables to the diet and decreasing consumption of saturated fats.

Dates: 1950s to 1990s

Rights: Items in this collection may be protected by copyright and are made accessible for fair use purposes, including criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and/or research. For other uses of images, please contact the Harvard Countway Library of Medicine, Center for the History of Medicine.