100 YEARS AGO
On Leprosy and Fish Eating. A Statement of Facts and Explanations. By Jonathan Hutchinson
The object of this work is stated in the preface to be “to carry conviction to the reader that the fundamental cause of the malady known as true leprosy is the eating of fish in a state of commencing decomposition.”… Mr. Hutchinson would associate the former prevalence of leprosy in the British Isles and in Europe with the Roman Catholic ordinances prescribing fish-food on two out of every three weekdays… We think that Mr. Hutchinson goes much too far in thus ascribing all variations in the prevalence of leprosy as being correlated with those of a fish-diet; even in the fact that the disease is more prevalent among men than among women he sees support for his hypothesis, for he suggests that women are more fastidious feeders than men.
From Nature 28 February 1907.