chapter  5
15 Pages

The Enemy Within

Food, Nutrition Experts and Consumers in French-Speaking Switzerland, 1900–1946
ByJoëlle Droux

It was not until the 1930s that academic positions in nutrition were created in French-speaking Switzerland. This chapter examines how Swiss nutrition experts acquired their experience as specialists of food reform during the interwar years, and how it shaped their subsequent strategies to change the consuming habits of their fellow citizens from 1939 onwards, urging them to adopt a healthier diet. It explores to what extent did they really try to ally with the consumers, especially women, during those six long years of dearth and physical hardship. The chapter then explores where did the consumer's health and well-being register on their professional agenda, compared to the possibility of challenging the microbiological paradigm's dominant position on the medical marketplace. It examines whether their enthusiastic crusade in favour of food rationing, and the way they presented it, did much to improve their position as consumers' experts and advisers.