Tracy is currently writing a biography of nutritional physiologist and cardiovascular epidemiologist Ancel Keys (1904-2004), who managed to squeeze three scientific careers into one lifetime, albeit a very long one!
Although Keys is best known as a stalwart champion for the diet-heart hypothesis in the generation of cardiovascular disease, he also:
- organized the International High Altitude Expedition of 1935;
- developed the U.S. Army’s K-Ration;
- and conducted the famous Minnesota Starvation Experiment.
A subject in I.Q. psychologist Lewis Terman’s longitudinal study of 1500 “gifted” children, Keys felt the weight of high expectations throughout his life. As the nephew of silent screen star Lon Chaney, Keys also filmed all of his scientific work and was a first-rate publicist, frequently writing for popular audiences.
Eat Well and Stay Well
In 1959, he and his wife Margaret Chaney Keys published a best-selling cookbook, Eat Well and Stay Well. This volume was revised and re-published as Eat Well and Stay Well the Mediterranean Way in 1975 and was among the first books to popularize the health benefits of the Mediterranean Diet. Tracy’s biography Health Revolutionary: The Life and Science of Ancel Keys is on schedule for completion in early 2014.
This project grew out of Tracy’s long-standing interest in the intersecting histories of diet and chronic disease. Tracy is a former bike racer and an avid hiker, most recently travelling to the Chilean Andes to retrace the footsteps of Ancel Keys and the International High Altitude Expedition.