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Nutrition education in a changing world – perspectives of the 80’s

purex bowl with cut up veges

Nutrition education in a changing world – perspectives of the 80’s

The first reading of the nutrition course I have enrolled in discusses some pretty big issues in nutrition education. The authors Gussow and Contento suggest that nutrition is a new field, less than a century old and before this we learnt about food through cultural traditions from generations before us.

Guess what one of the main imperatives of a new education was? You guessed it, to create strong, productive workers. The first tenets were those of increasing protein intake so that workers had more energy.

Of course more good, politically minded people started to devise educational messages for more vulnerable people such as mothers, children and the malnourished. There is a whole field of learning about the psychology of behavioural change and one of their main points was that education is useless to impoverished peoples who have no access to food, and require access to food production capability before world hunger can be resolved.

It makes me realise how systemic are the problems of access to good food, and how it is not really as simple as teaching affluent people about better food choices, but about food production from the bottom up, for education of the very food production system.

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