A Whole New Way of Doing Nutrition Research

When I tell people about what I do for a living (a food scientist), I invariably get the same reaction. A roll of eyes and criticism about how the problem with food science is that it’s always telling me that red wine is good, then it’s bad, then it’s good, depending on the day of the week. The truth is that the field of nutritional epidemiology, the study of big populations and how the food they eat affects their health, has struggled for some time with very bad PR.

This bad PR stems from the fact that these studies usually rely on what people tell us they eat, and not what they actually eat. This can work well for some aspects of the diet – dietary patterns, for example – but not others, especially individual foods or food components. Read more…

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