Nutritional Engineering, Nutritional Marketing, and Corporate Nutritionism
This chapter examines food companies' efforts to create demand for their products using various nutritional engineering strategies and nutrient-content and health claims. As discussed in Chapter 4, mainstream dietary guidelines were dominated by negative dietary advice regarding the dangers of consuming too much of the wrong types of foods and nutrients. Food manufacturers responded to these negative nutritional messages by designing food products and marketing strategies that focused on lesser evil messages, such as those accompanying reduced fat and reduced-calorie foods, as well as vitamin-fortified processed foods. The aim of this nutritional engineering and marketing was to restore the appropriate “nutrient balance” to one's diet by reducing the bad nutrients and calories and by adding good nutrients that are lacking in modern foods and dietary patterns. Thus, since the 1990s, a range of food products have taken center stage carrying more positive health messages.
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