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John Harvey Kellogg

This 19th century medical practitioner is to be primarily credited with development of a proper nutritious breakfast in the form of flaked cereals, that almost brought a revolution. John Kellog was also founder and first President of Battle Creek College, and known for his Battle Creek Sanatorium. He lectured on need of healthy diet, and an initiator of Anti-masturbation Movement.


  • Born to John Preston, a farmer, and Ann Janette (Stanley) Kellogg, he was the fourth of the eight children. During the latter part of 1852, his family joined the Seventh-day Adventist movement, which he followed as religion until he was disfellowed in 1907.

    He started his schooling at Battle Creek public schools, from where he went on to get a medicinal degree from New York University School of Medicine.

    He married Ella Ervilla Eaton. Though they did not have any biological children, they fostered 42 kids, in which he legally adopted 8 of them.

    He was known for the introduction of the wheat and corn flaked cereal into the breakfast tables of one, which brought about a huge revolution in the market. However, it is important to note that he introduced this cereal into the market as a temporary means to fight against tendencies of masturbation in men. This cereal in its later days went on to becoming one of the most famous breakfast cereals chosen all over the world.

  • Education

    • Kellogg had done his schooling from Battle Creek public school and later he went to Michigan State Normal School. His higher education was completed from New York University School of Medicine, United States.


    • Starting off the career as a medical practitioner, John Harvey Kellogg made great efforts to bring about a revolution in the diet of individuals. As a medical officer of the Battle Creek Sanitarium, he is said to have initiated vegetarian diet, abstinence from alcohol and tobacco, and a regimen of exercise within the domains of the hospital.

      There, he held classes for homemakers, and patients at the Sanitarium. He engaged themselves in mealtime marches, breathing exercises and a number of other health related aspects. Since he was a loyal supporter of phototherapy, and the sanitarium area made perfect use of all artificial sunbaths.

      Being a skilled surgeon he believed that change in intestinal flora caused most of the diseases, hence, one needs to be extremely cautious of his or her bowel movement. Pathogenic bacteria produces toxins during the digestion of protein so it is important to follow a strict diet, that would be just ideal for the person concerned. He propagated a balanced vegetarian diet that favor low-protein, high-fiber foods and laxative to help in bowel movement.

      He is still remembered for the invention of Corn Flakes, the famous breakfast cereal, in 1878. As one of the most well-developed cereals for breakfast, he believed this to be ideal for a person's better health. It would help him abstain from modes of self-abuse as masturbation and sexual inclination. Thus, he was an ideal nutritionist, who though held strict views make betterment of people's health.

    Major achievements

    • John Kellogg is credited with establishment of the American Medical Missionary College in 1895.

      He is also the Founder of Kellogg's Company.


    • The New Dietetics: What to Eat and How
    • This was written to present the known facts at the time relating to human nutrition for the service of “the physician, the trained nurse, the intelligent housewife, and to every student of nutrition, as well as to the professional dietitian.
    • Rational Hydrotherapy
    • This deals with physiological and therapeutic effects that are associated with hydriatic procedure, and ways to deal with them.
    • Light Therapeutics
    • This is a manual for phototherapy for students in the use of the electric light bath in the treatment of disease
    • Plain Facts for Old and Young
    • A deep understanding and consideration of the vices that are associated with self-abuse and its various cures.


    Since he was associated primarily with religious theories and health related prospects, he was not associated with any such political party. Thus, his views in this regard can be termed as neutral.

    However, he was outspoken on his beliefs on race and segregation issues.


    At times, his views were held in a negative sense by the church, primarily due to his controversial stands. During his stint at Battle Creek Sanitorium, he upheld all beliefs of the church, and hence propagated the concept of vegetarianism.

    He discouraged any type of stimulating food that would cause increase in sexual stimulation, or even meat.

    Denomination: Seventh-day Adventist Church


    He was extremely conscious regarding nutrition of individuals and believed that every problem that was associated with an individual's originated problems in the bowels. As a firm believer of Pantheism, he firmly proclaimed that God is all powerful. Hence, he believed in the ultimate beauty of the world, where God exists in every being.


    • Seventh Day Adventist movement. , Battle Creek
      May 21, 1863

      This organization is a strict Protestant sect that preaches imminent return of Christ to Earth, and proposes Saturday as the day of Sabbath.


    Kellogg was a person who firmly believed in abstaining from sexual activities, held ‘masturbation’ as the highest form of ‘self-abuse’. Hence, his primary motive of initiating a proper breakfast was to curb this urge.

    He believed that with a bland nutritious breakfast, one could live healthily and enjoy a better life in comparison to other times. Thus, on the whole, one can consider him to be quite a modest personality in terms of his personal likes, choices and standards. He was also known to be outspoken regarding racial discrimination in the society.



    John Kellogg
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    Born February 26, 1852
    Died December 14, 1943
    (aged 91)
    • 1875
      New York University School of Medicine
      New York, United States
    • 1875 - 1943
      Medical Practitioner, Nutritionist, Entrepreneur, Battle Creek Sanitarium, Kellogg's Company
      United States


    Pauline Koltounova

    last changed 26/02/2017 view changes
    • References
      • com.htp.peoplebook.domain.object.PublicationAbout@1f
    • Works
      • book: Dr. Kellogg's Lectures on Practical Health Topics, Vol. 1 (Classic Reprint)
    • References
      • com.htp.peoplebook.domain.object.PublicationAbout@1f
    • References
      • com.htp.peoplebook.domain.object.PublicationAbout@1f
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