Food is the basic necessity of life. Everybody eats food and most people enjoy it. From the beginning, scientists were curious about the food they consumed, its passage in the body and its effects. This curiosity led to the development of the science of nutrition. Nutrition is defined as the scientific study of food and its relation to health. It can also be defined as the science which deals with those processes by which body utilizes food for energy, growth and maintenance of health. The development of chemistry and other fields of science helped solve several unanswered questions about food. In the late 18th century, Lavoisier began studies in nutrition. He studied the role of respiration in metabolism of food. He is appropriately called “THE FATHER OF NUTRITION SCIENCE”.
The basic misconception about food is that we crave for the food which our body needs. We very often hear “let him eat it “(whatever food he likes most). Human beings are considered to be the most advanced when their intelligence is compared to that of animals, but as far as food selection is concerned, man does not retain this position. Choice of foods relating to the body’s requirement is more accurate in the case of animals. The food-choice of a human being is influenced by his social life and cultural background as well as his learning. Learning profoundly influences our food selection. It is interesting to know that infants show a natural ability to select foods needed by their body.
In the beginning of the 18th century, interest in nutrition was mainly related to the energy needs of the human body, i.e. how much energy is obtained from different constituents of food like carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Now nutrition is an important part of our life. We have realized that quality of our health depends upon the nourishment that we provide to our body.