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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 Era of Functional Nutritionism

The Era of Functional Nutritionism

Functional Nutrients, Superfoods, and Optimal Dietary Patterns

(p.157) Chapter Seven The Era of Functional Nutritionism

Gyorgy Scrinis

Columbia University Press

This chapter discusses the functional nutritionism era, which was characterized by a greater emphasis on the positive, beneficial, and health-enhancing role of nutrients, rather than the harmful properties of called bad nutrients. The celebration of omega-3 fats marks the beginning of this era around the mid-1990s. Many studies have associated the inadequate intake of omega-3 fats with higher incidences of heart disease, cancer, and dementia. In the early 2000s, researchers actively studied the health effects of foods and food groups, such as whole grains, milk, and nutritionally engineered foods such as cholesterol-lowering margarine and probiotic yogurts. Nutrition experts elevated these foods to the status of “superfoods”, which optimize health and specific bodily functions. There has also been growing interest in the study of dietary patterns that focuses on the appropriate combinations of foods.

Keywords:   functional nutritionism era, nutrients, omega-3 fats, superfoods, dietary patterns

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