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Chapter: Introduction to Human Nutrition: A Global Perspective on Food and Nutrition

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An integrated approach of Human Nutrition

Human nutrition describes the processes whereby cellular organelles, cells, tissues, organs, systems, and the body as a whole obtain and use necessary sub-stances obtained from foods (nutrients) to maintain structural and functional integrity.

An integrated approach

Human nutrition describes the processes whereby cellular organelles, cells, tissues, organs, systems, and the body as a whole obtain and use necessary sub-stances obtained from foods (nutrients) to maintain structural and functional integrity. For an under-standing of how humans obtain and utilize foods and nutrients from a molecular to a societal level, and of the factors determining and influencing these pro-cesses, the study and practice of human nutrition involve a spectrum of other basic and applied scien-tific disciplines. These include molecular biology, genetics, biochemistry, chemistry, physics, food science, microbiology, physiology, pathology, immunology, psychology, sociology, political science, anthropology, agriculture, pharmacology, communi-cations, and economics. Nutrition departments are, therefore, often found in Medical (Health) or Social Science, or Pharmacy, or Agriculture Faculties at tertiary training institutions. The multidisciplinary nature of the science of nutrition, lying in both the natural (biological) and social scientific fields, demands that students of nutrition should have a basic understanding of many branches of science and that they should be able to integrate different con-cepts from these different disciplines. It implies that students should choose their accompanying subjects (electives) carefully and that they should read widely in these different areas.


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