Food and health: a biological perspective



Publication Details

Tapsell, L. (2013). Food and health: a biological perspective. In L. Tapsell (Eds.), Food, Nutrition and Health (pp. 4-16). South Melbourne, Victoria: Oxford University Press.


It is common knowledge that food is essential for health. Everyone eats food and most people ":we an opinion on which foods are better for you. So why do we need nutritionists? What's more, why does advice on nutrition always seem to change? The chapters in this book will address these questions from several perspectives. One short answer to the quandary is that nutrition is both a science and a practice. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines nutrition as 'the intake of food, considered in relation to the body's dietary needs' [1]. As a science it builds a very broad knowledge base from a range of disciplines that practitioners are then able to apply. A great deal of nutrition knowledge comes from the basic sciences such as chemistry, biochemistry, biology and physiology. Other knowledge comes from health disciplines such as epidemiology, dietetics and medicine, and then from the humanities such as sociology, anthropology and the study of economics. The unifying factor is the need to better understand the relationship between food and health. Because this is a complex relationship, it needs to be considered from a number of different angles, but they can aU come together to represent the science of nutrition.

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