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30-Second Nutrition

Lovegrove, J. (2018) 30-Second Nutrition. 30 Second. Ivy Press, London, pp160. ISBN 9781782405535

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Abstract (introduction to book) removed: Nutrition has been defined as ‘the process of providing or obtaining food necessary for health and growth’ (Oxford Dictionary), and is essential for sustaining all life on Earth. The word 'nutrition' originates from the 16th century, from late Latin nūtrītiō, 'to nourish'. The quality of our diet influences our development and well-being from the womb until death, and is, therefore, of relevance to all. Our instinct to eat is principally for survival, but the selection of foods is determined by the environment, genetics and numerous other factors. Understanding the principles of nutrition and how different foods and nutrients promote health and prevent disease empowers humans to make an informed choice, optimising their diet. The Greek physician Hippocrates of Kos (460–370 BC), known as the ‘Father of Medicine’, was one of the first to profess the importance of nutrition, stating, ‘Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.' Hippocrates recognised the therapeutic significance of diet for the maintenance of health, and developed one of the earliest nutritional recommendations that he called a ‘seasonal diet’. In the Tang dynasty (618–907 AD), Chinese physician Sun Simiao wrote what could be regarded to be the first nutrition guidelines in his book Precious Prescriptions for Emergencies, which described the impacts of consuming grains, meat, fruits and vegetables. It wasn’t until the 20th century that formal public health dietary recommendations came into effect for populations across the world. A landmark discovery in the history of nutritional science occurred in the 19th century with the recognition of a causal link between malnourishment and disease, and the first description of essential micronutrients as ‘vitamines’ in 1912 by Casimir Funk. Following this, Frederick Hopkins, an English biochemist, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for discovery of the ‘growth-stimulating vitamins’ in 1929 [reordered, to make it clear NP was for Hopkins, not Funk]. The identification of vitamins was viewed by many as an endpoint to the study of nutrition, a short-sighted view given the significant developments that were to follow. The increasing prevalence of chronic degenerative diseases like heart disease and cancer as major causes of premature death in the Western world in the late 20th century refocused attention on the importance of over-nutrition and the role of macronutrients in disease development. Ongoing challenges in the field of nutritional science include: developing more definitive measures of dietary intake; health status; and disease risk susceptibility in the early stages of life, when nutrition can be more effective in maintaining health and preventing disease. These challenges are being tackled by the development of new analytical techniques, identification of novel biological markers of dietary intake and disease risk, and innovations in food science and technology. Progressions in nutritional science have occurred in parallel with advances in genetic, metabolic and behavioural sciences, that will continue to improve tailored dietary advice to specific characteristics of an individual to motivate changes in diet for health. The aims of 30-Second Nutrition are to provide insight into the fundamental importance of nutrition to life, and to increase understanding of the principles of nutrition, to help readers make informed decisions about their diet and food choice.

Item Type:Book
Divisions:Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Institute for Cardiovascular and Metabolic Research (ICMR)
Interdisciplinary Research Centres (IDRCs) > Institute for Food, Nutrition and Health (IFNH)
Life Sciences > School of Chemistry, Food and Pharmacy > Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences > Human Nutrition Research Group
ID Code:88332
Publisher:Ivy Press

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