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NutritionismThe Science and Politics of Dietary Advice$
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Gyorgy Scrinis

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780231156578

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231156578.001.0001

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The Nutritionism Paradigm

The Nutritionism Paradigm

Reductive Approaches to Nutrients, Food, and the Body

(p.25) Chapter Two The Nutritionism Paradigm

Gyorgy Scrinis

Columbia University Press

This chapter discusses various reductive understandings of the food and the body that developed during the three eras of nutrition science-the era of quantifying nutritionism, the era of good-and-bad nutritionism, and the era of functional nutritionism. Nutrition experts' reductive perception on nutrients is evident in the nutritional levelling or sorting out of foods between minimally processed and highly processed foods, between fresh and preserved foods, and between animal- and plant-based foods. Within this nutritionism paradigm, highly processed foods are considered “nutritionally equivalent” or healthier than whole foods based on the presence of a particular nutrients. The reductive understanding of food also led to the creation of the nutricentric language, in which foods are described in terms of “nutrient poor” and “energy-dense”, while dietary patterns are described in terms of “nutrient inadequacy” and “caloric excess.”

Keywords:   nutrition science, nutritionism, nutrients, nutricentric language, nutrition experts

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