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NATIONAL LIBRARY OF MEDICINE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NATIONAL LIBRARY OF MEDICINE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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Wilbur Olin Atwater (1844-1907), US chemist. Atwater obtained his doctorate in agricultural chemistry from Yale in 1869. He carried out pioneering work from 1896 using calorimeters to measure the energy contained in food. With his respiration calorimeter, a large chamber housed at Wesleyan University, he was able to study and quantify the dynamics of metabolism. The result was the Atwater system, which laid the groundwork for modern studies of nutrition. Atwater concluded that Americans consumed too much fat and sweets and did not exercise enough. Atwater was the first Professor of Chemistry at Wesleyan University.
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