. "3 Cold Weather and High-Altitude Nutrition: Overview of the Issues." Nutritional Needs in Cold and High-Altitude Environments: Applications for Military Personnel in Field Operations. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 1996.
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TABLE 3-1 Similarities and Dissimilarities Between Cold and High-Altitude Environments
Low ambient temperatures
Lower atmospheric oxygen tension at high altitude
Diuresis, at least initially
Usually greater anorexia and hypophagia at high altitude
Increased energy requirements for work
Fat tolerated well in the cold
Lack of water except for ice and snow
Fat not tolerated well at high altitude
Difficult to prepare food
Carbohydrate is tolerated well
Protein not particularly advantageous
Arctic Biology and Medicine: The Physiology of Work in Cold and High Altitude, at Fort Wainwright, Alaska (Helfferich, 1966). General Ross, the Yukon Commander, gave the welcoming address at this 1966 meeting of environmental physiologists, and his words regarding the military relevancy of cold and high-altitude research are as appropriate now, as then:
Military interest is expanding to areas that were once considered uninhabitable and forbidding, such as the Arctic. The geopolitical importance of the Arctic basin and the Arctic mountainous area necessitates much greater knowledge and special understanding of these areas…In light of the constantly changing military requirements, it is singularly important for us to understand the physiological responses and limits of man to these unusual stresses in order to utilize human capabilities maximally in the accomplishment of our military mission. It is also necessary for us to understand what measures can be taken to improve the functional capacity of military personnel in these adverse and hostile environments…(Helfferich, 1966, p. 1).
During the 1950s and 1960s there were a number of symposia or conferences on environmental physiology, usually sponsored or cosponsored by the U.S. Armed Services (Table 3-2). These excellent reviews of environmental medicine came to an end after the mid 1960s, perhaps due to a lack of military sponsorship. Their end also coincided with a gradual decline in the amount of contract funds available from the Armed Forces to support extramural research of this nature.
Historically, a significant proportion of environmental medicine research during the World War II and Korean War eras was conducted in government-supported civilian research institutions such as the Universities of Illinois, Minnesota, Washington, California, Hawaii, Colorado, and Alaska, and in the Fatigue Laboratory at Harvard University. In the 1970s and 1980s the emphasis began to shift from extramural to intramural research, and the Armed