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June 6, 1980

Nutrition in the 1970s

JAMA. 1980;243(21):2220-2222. doi:10.1001/jama.1980.03300470080046

Presumably, when one agrees to take a look backward and describe some of the happenings in nutrition over a decade, one should be able to define nutrition, determine its structure as a discipline, and isolate it for closer examination. The 1970s are notable, however, for demonstrating that nutrition, which is a synthesis of other biologic sciences, has grown to such proportions that it will (1) spontaneously divide into its component parts, each with its own structure, to be examined piece by piece or (2) encompass all of the life sciences because, after all, life is dependent on nourishment and, thus, theoretically subject to nutritional manipulation.

Nutrition has traditionally been given a broad definition:

The science of food, the nutrients and other substances therein, their action, interaction and balance in relation to health and disease, and the process by which the organism ingests, digests, absorbs, transports, utilizes, and excretes food substances.

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