This film is part of Free

Abcd of Health

Healthy eating advice goes down easy in this fun public information film.

Instructional film/TV programme 1942 9 mins


Healthy eating advice is easy to swallow in this nifty public information film, introducing Vitamins A through D. (No sign of E: the film predates the fashion for antioxidants.) A visually clever item, its recommendations are nutritionally sound even now: eat your carrots and cod liver oil but also veggies, pulses, porridge and wholemeal bread. Oh, and margarine, pronounced with a hard 'g'...

Targeting his film at the workers and mothers of Britain's wartime home front, director Jack Ellitt does a splendid job of simplifying complex information, skilfully blending clever visual concepts with stock footage. Ellitt is best-known for assisting celebrated animator Len Lye on his groundbreaking animated films of the 1930s. His own career is unjustly neglected but, as shown in films like this, he shared Lye's interest in inventive graphics, and was well practised in making the best of low budgets. This government film is a public record, preserved and presented by the BFI National Archive on behalf of The National Archives, home to more than 1,000 years of British history.