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With many advances in biology, chemistry, and medicine, all pointing to food and diet in general as the potential cause (and solution) of many health-related problems, it was only a matter of time when a science dedicated specifically to food intake would emerge.
In a very simplistic way, that is the true objective of nutrition. However, such oversimplification does not do honor to such an intricate and invaluable science as nutrition is. Long gone are the days when humans needed to forage and live on whatever they could hunt down and scavenge. With so much junk food to be had, combined with an increasingly sedentary lifestyle, the overall health of people seems to be deteriorating. That is where nutrition steps in, bringing its valuable knowledge founded in science to the general population, spreading the latest information about what it is and how much people need to eat to keep their organism in balance.
History of Nutrition
While nutrition is fairly young and blossoming science, the attempts to understand disease and sickness started a long time ago. It would be imprudent to backtrack all the interesting revelations related to health and well-being since they go as far back as to Ancient Greece.
However, it would also be inappropriate not to mention Lavoisier, who first discovered the intricacies of metabolism in the 18th century. He was among the first, if not the first person to realize that the oxidization of food is the actual source of heat.
Soon after came all the great discoveries of the 20th century that truly established the importance of proper nutrition, such as Carl von Voit and Max Rubner’s independent application of principles of physics in nutrition which revealed and measured caloric expenditure in animals.
In 1913 came the first discovery of vitamin A by Davis and McCollum, followed by Rose’s delving into essential amino acids in the 1930s. The complexity and necessity of proper nutrition came to light and lead to where we’re at today.