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food-stuff contains that is of moment, but also what portion of it can be readily
digested and assimilated by the body. He adds that it is very doubtful whether
the increase in the nitrogenous elements by raising the proportion of the pulses—
and specially if badly cooked—is of any advantage, and perhaps may even be

     Dr. Lewis concludes this critical study of Indian jail dietaries by expressing
the opinion that, so far as the actual quantities of proximate principles are con-
cerned, the scales sanctioned have not been insufficient. On the contrary, native
labouring prisoners in every province in India have been, weight for weight, better
fed than either convicts or other prisoners in England. He shows that the lowest
scales are by no means associated the most unfavourable health-returns, but
that, on the contrary, in those instances where enquiry has been made, the results
in this respect were even better than those associated the most liberal diets.
The diet that he suggests as sufficient for the maintenance of native prisoners in
good health and at the same time compatible the exaction of a fair amount of
ordinary hard labour is:—

Protein           3 ozs. = 85.08 grms.
Carbohydrate         18½ „ = 524.66 „
Fat           1-1½ „ = 28.36—42.54 grms.
with the usual condiments, salt, etc.

     This diet he bases on the maximum diet scale of English Local Prisons,
correcting the several quantities for the difference in weight between English
prisoners and native Indian prisoners. It corresponds very closely to the diet
given by Lyon for the Bombay House of Correction.

      Expressed in the manner given above as so many grammes or ozs. of alimen-
tary principles we have no criticism to make: the scale is, so far as our knowledge
goes, quite sufficient, in fact, probably greater than is necessary. It is the
method by which these standards for native prisoners are arrived at, and the
deductions that have been drawn from their effects that seem to us fallacious.

     It is not possible to deduce a standard of diet for natives of India from the
estimations of the proximate principles of dietaries that have been found suitable
and sufficient for European prisoners. If the proximate principles of the materials
making up the Indian diets were absorbed in the same proportion as is the case in
European diets, we grant that this method of calculating their nutritive value
and this estimation of the quantities required would be permissible. But the
absorbability of the ultimate alimentary principles of Indian food-stuffs is very far
from being identical that of European food-stuffs—at least when the former
are given in the quantities necessary to make up the proper amounts of those

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