I’ve often heard parents say that their teen-aged sons “eat them out of house and home.” That’s apparently been an issue for a long time. Here are some excerpts from a hundred-year-old Chicago Evening Post article as reprinted in the December, 1916 issue of American Cookery:
The Russell Sage Institute has just completed a scientific inquiry into the eating capacity of 300 boys at a big boarding school. The whole thing is summarized in one convincing sentence, “The 5,000 calories thus contained in the daily diet of active American boys of school age are half again as much as a farmer at work is believed to require.”
It is well to keep this scientifically ascertained fact in mind if you have boys of your own; it is their perfect justification for trying to eat you out of house and home.
The fixing of the fact by research has its sociological value, too. There are multitudes of boys who do not get their 5,000 calories daily. “Lack of appreciation of this factor,” says the investigator’s report, “and lack of provision for it, are the probable causes of much of the under-nutrition seen in children of school age.”