Wood, Bertha M.

Titles by this author
Foods of the foreign-born in relation to health

Bertha M. Wood was a dietitian at the Food Clinic of the Boston Dispensary, whose director at the time was Michael Marks Davis. In 1920, Wood contributed a study of immigrant diet to Davis' classic work, Immigrant Health and the Community (1920) which appeared as part of the Carnegie Corporation-sponsored series "Americanization Studies: The Acculturation of Immigrant Groups into American Society," published between 1920 and 1921. She expanded her study to include a discussion of and recipes for additional ethnic groups, and published it as a book, Foods of the Foreign-Born in Relation to Health. Intended for physicians, dietitians, nurses, social workers, and others who provided care to immigrant populations, her book, like her initial study, was based on recognizing the necessity of understanding and accommodating traditional diets of immigrants, rather than condemning or ignoring them completely. Many of the recipes in Foods of the Foreign-Born in Relation to Health were first published in an Appendix to Davis' Immigrant Health and the Community. Wood also wrote Fundamentals of Dietetics; A Textbook for Nurses and Dietitians (1926).

Michael M. Davis Jr. (1879 - 1971) had a long career as a medical administrator and was an early advocate for public access to affordable health care. His many books include Paying Your Sickness Bills (1931), The Crisis in Hospital Finance (1932); The Health of a Nation; Making and Keeping Americans Well (1943); and Medical Care for the Individual and the Issue of Compulsory Health Insurance (1948).


  • Cordasco, Francesco, Ed., Dictionary of American Immigration History. Metuchen, NJ: The Scarecrow Press, 1990.
  • Davis, Michael M., Immigrant Health and the Community, with a new introduction by Raymond E. O'Dowd. Montclair, NJ: Patterson Smith, 1971.
  • Wood, Bertha M., Foods of the Foreign-Born in Relation to Health. Boston: Whitcomb & Barrow, 1922.
  • Who Was Who in America. Vol. V: Marquis Who's Who, Inc., 1968.

Written by Anne-Marie Rachman