Gyorgy Scrinis, in his article On the Ideology of Nutritionism, describes a general trend of ‘nutritional reductionism’ which occurs at two levels. The first is an attempt “to understand all issues relating to the quality of foods and their relationship to bodily health at the nutria-biochemical level,” and the second is “a simplified focus on particular nutrients, or on particular bodily processes and biomarkers.” This trend of nutritionism has increased the amount of information consumers need to know, making them focus on specific aspects of food rather than the general impact types of food have on the body. The
The food industry is largely behind the changes in how we perceive food and the increasing obtuseness of our guidelines. According to Scrisis, the food industry sees us as “in need of nutritional advice, weight loss plans and products, functional foods, nutritional supplements, …” While creating food guidelines that increase sales, the food industry do not create guidelines that allow consumers to decide what to eat or plan a balanced diet. In order to get dietary guidelines that provide accurate and sound nutrition advice, corporations need to be removed from process, so that the government is solely responsible for the national dietary guidelines. Fable and Nestle suggests that we be “diligent in encouraging governments to issue dietary advice that is clear, unambiguous, and useful to the public.” While this is a good strategy, I think we should first encourage our government to restrict the influence that the food industry has on the guideline making process, and that then the dietary advice will resume a more reasonable level of usefulness.