In 1918, India’s colonial administrators noted that the poor and malnourished were much more likely to succumb to flu than the more affluent. Overall, people across the world are better nourished today. While malnutrition remains a global crisis, the World Health Organization reports that daily food consumption rose by 25% between 1965 and 2015. To the extent that better nutrition strengthens the immune system, we are in a better position to fight off infection than our ancestors were in 1918.

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