Is nutrition a science or a discipline?

Understanding nutrition and its importance have become indispensable to leading a healthy life in the fast running world that we live in. But to begin understanding nutrition requires an understanding of the kind of science and/or discipline one is dealing. Any subject that gives insights about the human body and its functioning is very easily believed to be science without understanding what actually constitutes science. The word science is often used to explain or predict outcomes based on inquiry through a rigorous process of development of hypotheses and repeatable experiments to test these hypotheses. The data that is the result of such experiments is then gathered and analysed before conclusions are made to form interpretations. Nutrition and related studies are built on more or less the same principles of science however, with dealing with the human body that is complex in itself, prediction of any outcome is not 100%. As per the best nutritionist in Bangalore, the medical sciences that have led extensive studies on body parts and organs have long ignored the importance of what goes inside the organs and the related impacts.

Nutrition is NOT a Simple Science

As explained above, any study is rendered science due to repeated experiments and proven results that help predict outcomes under controlled conditions. However, the occurrence of such experiments and studies in the field of nutrition haven’t been a lot. A neglected science, gives it a status of a simple discipline, however, in reality, nutrition is a very important science that deals with the human body, the scope of which has been undermined for far too long. As with all the other sciences, research and experimentation can be challenging in practice because of many factors that come into play, some of which cannot be eliminated even in controlled conditions and environments. The same is applicable for research efforts in nutrition as it is for any other science such as chemistry, physics or any other hard science. It is true that detailed study and scientific testing is of utmost importance to further develop scientific disciplines, including nutrition as well, so that it leads to resolution and progress of the discipline. However, it is also true that such advances are painfully slow in all scientific disciplines due to reasons as mentioned above. But at the same time, it is important to note that science has come a long way and mankind has been able to make ground breaking discoveries and advancements in all fields of science, including nutrition.

Although awareness regarding a strong relationship between food and health has a long history, attention towards this field gained traction only recently, and the science of nutrition developed out of discoveries in modern chemistry and medicine. This was the beginning of using dietary strategies to tackle diseases such as beriberi (vitamin B1), scurvy (vitamin C), rickets (vitamin D), etc. and other deficiency conditions. Thus began the development of the modern approach towards food and nutrition and its scope which was way beyond the initial understanding. 

Soon, the study of food and nutrition rediscovered itself as a science that draws from molecular biology, biochemistry and genetics to understand how different nutrients affect the human body. Even though research and experimentation hasn’t reached an optimal level, the discipline has seen a lot of progress and advancement. The focus of the study has become inclusive of the role and importance of dietary choices to reduce the risk of diseases, the impact of too little or too much of a nutrient, and how allergies work. 

Nutritional science is a complicated discipline, in line with all other scientific disciplines. The science requires focus and seriousness and a significant amount of resources and expertise advocated to the discipline, with the nutritional scientist needing determination to succeed when faced with discoursing result, as any other scientist in any other discipline would too, so as to conform to the norm for all scientific researchers. Nutrition concerns most aspects of modern medical practice and thus realising its importance and recognising it as a science is of paramount importance to further its progress in the correct direction. Medical doctors cannot serve their patients without understanding and dealing with the most typical nutritional scenarios in practice and a complete understanding of the patient’s body. Hence, nutritional science is as important to medical doctors as physiology, pharmacology or anatomy and thus rendering the subject as a mere discipline and not regards it as science would mean studying medical sciences without all its components.

Science and discipline are not two separate nodes of a branch, but rather a node stemming out of a bigger node itself. They don’t exist in mutual exclusivity. Science itself is a discipline, unique in itself due to various reasons. According to the best nutritionist in Delhi, Nutrition, even though lacking solid research and experimentation, is definitely a science, diluted versions of which are broken into simpler disciplines as well. It has emerged out to become an important branch of the medical sciences with detailed courses being run, institutions being established to certify the course and study material as well as to further research and experimentation initiatives. Just like a patient’s vitals are noted before any surgery, operation or routine check, and cannot be ignored, the science of nutrition cannot be ignored while studying medical science and are a critical indicator of what’s wrong within the human body.

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