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Christmas Fare

A Brief History

Gibney, Michael PhD, MAgrSc, MA

doi: 10.1097/NT.0000000000000383
Feature Article

The human race has always celebrated great events with very special dinners and traditional menus. This short article traces some of the food history of Christmas celebrated by Christians. The editor tells me that this journal welcomes similar short articles on food traditions of other religious groups and their special dinners.

Michael Gibney, PhD, MAgrSc, MA, is professor emeritus of food and health at University College Dublin and has been a faculty member at the Universities of Sydney, Southampton, and Dublin. A former President of the Nutrition Society, he was a member of the scientific advisory committee of the Sackler Institute of Nutrition of the New York Academy of Sciences, of the Nestle Nutrition Council, and of the Google Food Innovation Lab. He chaired the board of the Food Safety Authority of Ireland and was inaugural editor in chief of the Nutrition Society suite of textbooks on human nutrition. His research interests lie in metabolic and molecular nutrition, in public health nutrition, and in probabilistic risk analysis. He maintains a blog ( and has published several popular books on diet and health: “Something to Chew on: Challenging Controversies in Food and Health” and “Ever Seen a Fat Fox—Human Obesity Explored.” He has been elected a fellow of the American Society for Nutrition (2018), a fellow of the International Union of Nutritional Sciences (2012), a fellow of the International Union of Food Science and Technology (2015), and a fellow of the International Academy of Food Science and Technology (2018).

The author has no conflicts of interest to disclose.

Correspondence: Michael Gibney, PhD, MAgrSc, MA, Institute of Food and Health, University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland (

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