Writing in e Natural History of Cancer (1908), the British medical practitioner William Roger Williams adduced what he called ‘overwhelming evidence … that the incidence of cancer is largely conditioned by nutrition’.1 In his experience most of those a ected with the disease in the early stages were ‘large, robust, well-nourished, orid persons, who appear[ed] to be over owing with vitality’,2 whereas ‘the small, pale, [and] ill-nourished’3 seldom fell victim to the disease. No factor, he claimed, was more likely to promote cancer than excessive feeding. Cancer was a rejuvenescence most likely to occur when there had been sudden or violent change in the environment, especially from poverty and want to riches and plenty. It was particularly associated with ‘the gluttonous consumption of proteids – especially meat’.4