The Facts of Medicine program number 36, Overweight (video, program transcript, and film still)

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The Facts of Medicine program number 36, Overweight (video, program transcript, and film still)


Rutstein, David
Public health--United States
Public television--United States
Video recordings
Film stills
The Facts of Medicine (television program)


David Davis Rutstein (1909-1986), S.B., 1930, Harvard College, M.D.; 1934, Harvard Medical School, Boston, joined the faculty at Harvard Medical School in 1947 as Professor of Preventive Medicine and was head of the Department of Preventive Medicine until 1969. In 1966, he was appointed the Ridley Watts Professor of Preventive Medicine, and held that position until his retirement in 1975. Rutstein's earlier appointments include serving as Chief of the Cardiac Bureau of the New York State Department of Health, Albany, from 1940 to 1942, Deputy Commissioner of Public Health for the New York City Department of Health from 1943 to 1946, and a consultant in preventive medicine for many hospitals in New York and Massachusetts from the 1940s to the 1970s. Rustein played a national role in the organization of medical care, the integration of preventive medicine into the care of individual patients, and the measurement of medical outcomes. In the 1960s, he directed a study on forming health maintenance programs, lobbied for a change in state laws regarding birth control for the poor, and advocated the use of nurse midwives for delivery. Some of his later studies with the United States Veteran's Administration were on the genetic basis of alcoholism and on standards of health care. In 1955, Rutstein began a forty-episode television series on WGBH-TV (Boston) called, The Facts of Medicine. This was one of the first uses of television to inform the public about local and national health concerns and current research.


Lowell Institute interviewer Parker Wheatley has a conversation with David D. Rutstein about: the increased risk of health problems in individuals who are overweight; the relationship between being overweight and developing diabetes or coronary disease; why people get "fat"; and how obesity prevention should start with childhood exercise and good eating habits


Harvard Medical School (producer)
WGBH Educational Foundation (producer)
Lowell Institute (producer)

Date Created

31 May 1956


Lowell Institute (producer)
Rutstein, David (speaker)
Wheatley, Parker (host)
WGBH Educational Foundation (producer)
Harvard University (producer)


Presented by the Harvard Medical School and the WGBH Educational Foundation

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Is Part Of

David D. Rutstein papers, 1916-1989 (inclusive), 1938-1980 (bulk), H MS c315, Box 101


An online guide to the collection is available. Click here.




1 332 MB videorecording and 1 transcript (8 pages)






moving image


Moving Image Item Type Metadata


00:29:19 (hours:minutes:seconds)



Harvard Medical School (producer), WGBH Educational Foundation (producer), and Lowell Institute (producer), “The Facts of Medicine program number 36, Overweight (video, program transcript, and film still),” OnView, accessed March 5, 2024,

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  1. fom36overweightstill.jpg
  2. FoM036overweight.pdf