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Nutritional and environmental studies on an ocean-going oil tanker. 4. The diet of seamen
  1. T. P. Eddy,
  2. Erica F. Wheeler,
  3. Anne L. Stock
  1. Department of Human Nutrition, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Keppel Street, London W.C.1
  2. Department of Nutrition, Queen Elizabeth College, London W.8


    Eddy, T. P., Wheeler, Erica F., and Stock, Anne L. (1971).Brit. J. industr. Med.,28, 342-352. Nutritional and environmental studies on an ocean-going oil tanker. 4. The diet of seamen. Previous reports by Collins and his colleagues (1971a, b) and Eddy, Stock, and Wheeler (1971) have described energy and nutrient balances measured during a voyage of the oil tanker S.S. Esso Newcastle to the Persian Gulf in July and August 1967. This study of the diet of seamen during the voyage describes inter-relationships of the energy-yielding constituents of the diet, particularly the relationship of alcohol to other constituents, and vitamin intakes.

    For the whole ship's crew the percentages of energy derived from the main constituents were from protein 12%, fat 35%, carbohydrate 40%, and alcohol 13%.

    The intakes of six subjects studied in detail showed relatively little variation in protein, 13·9 ± 0·4 Joules%; but greater variation in fat (33·0 ± 1·6%), carbohydrate (42·7 ± 1·4%), and alcohol (10·4 ± 1·3%). There were high negative correlations, r=-0·75, between energy percentages derived from alcohol and those derived from protein and fat respectively.

    Flour purchased for the ship in a foreign port was deficient in thiamine and niacin. There was a negative correlation between energy and thiamine intake, and with unfortified white flour thiamine intake would fall below the recommended allowance at intakes above 14·5 MJ (3500 kcal). The unwitting substitution of unfortified flours in place of fortified British flour is a potential cause of deficiency.

    The estimated intake of riboflavine decreased when fresh milk supplies were exhausted following the 10th day out, and would have fallen below the recommended intake of 0·5 mg/1000 kcal (4·186 MJ) but for the consumption of beer.

    The intake of ascorbic acid was not affected by the duration of the voyage. It averaged 70mg/man/day and was derived chiefly from citrus fruits and potatoes.

    The Statutory Scale of Provisions issued under the Merchant Shipping Act. 1906, is out of date and a new scale should be drawn up.

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