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Commentary
April 6, 2011

Technology, Diet, and the Burden of Chronic Disease

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: Optimal Weight for Life Program, Department of Medicine, Children's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts.

JAMA. 2011;305(13):1352-1353. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.380

From an evolutionary perspective, food is either difficult to get or difficult to eat. Humans lack the strength and speed of large carnivores and the specialized digestive track of herbivores. Indeed, the diet of early hominids was mostly limited to fruits and insects. For this reason, humans have long strived to develop technologies to improve food availability, digestibility, safety, transportability, and storage life. However, the rate of change in food technology has greatly accelerated, with major implications to human nutrition and health.

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