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Food and nutrition 

Food and nutrition
Chapter:
Food and nutrition
Author(s):

Prakash S. Shetty

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199218707.003.0010
Page of

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date: 20 June 2019

Food and nutrition are important determinants of a wide range of diseases of public health importance worldwide. Nutrition is a broad and complex subject which includes nutrient–gene interactions and the induction of such diseases as diabetes mellitus, coronary heart disease, and cancer and to conditions like impaired brain development. Nutrition also deals with the social, economic, and cultural issues related to making the right food choices, purchasing and eating the ‘correct’ types of food and in the ‘appropriate’ quantities as well as the factors that determine daily human activity and behaviour related to food. Thus, just as our gradual acquisition of the knowledge of microbiology influenced our understanding of infectious diseases, which in turn led to preventive measures for the population, so the historical advances in the field of nutrition have led to a more coherent understanding of the patterns of and the prevention of diet-related diseases of public health importance throughout the world.

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