Ancel Keys (1904-2004), an American physiologist who pioneered studies in the field of energetics of human metabolism. He was among the first to emphasize the relation among energy intake, energy expenditure, and resting metabolic rate, providing a greater understanding of obesity and overall nutrition. In his seminal study of human starvation during World War II, he demonstrated experimentally that traits heretofore considered irrevocable and constitutional, such as body type, blood fat levels (cholesterol), blood pressure, heart rate, and responses to stress, were, in fact, largely modifiable by simple changes in the composition and quantity of diet and physical activity. He also discovered that reducing one's diet to a state of semi-starvation produced symptoms of irritability, loss of endurance, and obsessive behavior around food, including but not limited to lying, hoarding, and stealing. Keys' work led to remarkable changes in scientific attitudes about the mutability of body form and function. He also performed the first prospective studies on the relationship between diet, blood serum cholesterol, and cardiovascular disease.
- Ancel Keys - Obituary, The American Physiological Society.
- Ancel Keys - Profile, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- Blackburn, Henry. Ancel Keys, An Appreciation. University of Minnesota School of Public Health
- Hoffman, William, 1979. Meet Monsieur Cholesterol. University of Minnesota Medical School.