Data

Year of publication

2020

Type

Qualitative

Design

Narrative

Classification

N/A

Country studied

Global

Data

Secondary

Data Collected

Literature

Study setting

N/A

Age group of participant

N/A

Participant sex

N/A

Target population

N/A

Sample size

N/A

Exclusive reductionism, chronic diseases and nutritional confusion: The degree of processing as a lever for improving public health/Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition

Goal

Argue that the extreme application of the exclusive reductionism paradigm in nutrition science since 1950 has greatly contributed to confusion about a healthy diet among consumers and to the development of chronic diseases worldwide.

Results

First, history of nutritional sciences in Western countries shows that by approximately 1850, laboratory research had mainly been conducted by reducing foods to nutrients that were interchangeable from one food to another. Second, descriptive and experimental studies show that the increased prevalence of chronic diseases mainly derive from ultra-processed foods. With such foods being representative of a final output in the degree of food processing, the relevance of reformulating food versus developing less unstructured processed foods is discussed. Third, the reductionist validation of food additives, randomized controlled trials, and food scoring is also questioned. Additionally, epidemiological studies that associate dietary patterns with the risk of chronic diseases and that aggregate approaches in nutrition, technology, food science and food scoring appear to be more adapted for nutritional recommendations in society. It is concluded that a complementary holistic perspective is needed to communicate to society about diet/food health potential and to efficiently prevent populations from chronic diseases.

Authors

Fardet A & Rock E. 

Journal

DOI