Library Header Image
LSE Research Online LSE Library Services

Hasty pudding versus tasty bread: regional variations in diet and nutrition during the Industrial Revolution

Horrell, Sara and Oxley, Deborah (2012) Hasty pudding versus tasty bread: regional variations in diet and nutrition during the Industrial Revolution. Local Population Studies, 89 (1). 9 - 30. ISSN 0143-2974

Full text not available from this repository.


Using parish-level information from Sir EM. Eden's The state of the poor (1797) we can identify typical diets for the counties of England. These diets varied considerably and afforded very different standards of nutrition. We compute a nutritional score for this diet, paying attention to the presence of vitamins, minerals and micronutrients shown to be essential for health and growth in constructing this measure. Other information in the reports allows us to relate county-level nutrition to factors in the local economy. In particular we find nutrition was positively related to the availability of common land in the area and to women's remunerated work if conducted from home. Lack of common land and little local supply of dairy products also pushed households into buying white wheaten bread rather than baking their own wholemeal loaf. Replicating some of this analysis with household-level data confirms these results. Diet also maps onto stature: male convicts to Australia were significantly taller if they originated in a county with a more nutritious diet. This verifies the important impact of nutrition on stature and demonstrates the sensitivity of height as a measure of key aspects of welfare.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:;js...
Additional Information: © 2012 The Authors
Divisions: Economic History
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
JEL classification: N - Economic History > N3 - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Income, and Wealth > N33 - Economic History: Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Income and Wealth: Europe: Pre-1913
Date Deposited: 22 Nov 2019 13:51
Last Modified: 20 Jul 2021 01:23

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item