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Hidden HungerGender and the Politics of Smarter Foods$
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Aya Hirata Kimura

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780801451645

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801451645.001.0001

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Charismatic Nutrients

Charismatic Nutrients

(p.19) 2 Charismatic Nutrients
Hidden Hunger

Aya Hirata Kimura

Cornell University Press

This chapter discusses the scientization of food insecurity through nutritionism, which can be viewed as successive eras of different charismatic nutrients. These nutrients commanded center stage in international food and nutritional politics when their suboptimal intake defined the nature of the food problem in developing countries. For instance, scholars attributed the ill-health of people in developing countries not only to lack of food and but also to insufficient protein intake. Hence, protein emerged as a charismatic nutrient by the 1960s, becoming the focal point of various international programs that were committed to addressing the “protein gap.” The newly established Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Nutrition agreed that “protein malnutrition” was a problem of fundamental importance throughout the world.

Keywords:   charismatic nutrients, Committee on Nutrition, WHO, FAO, protein malnutrition, food insecurity, protein gap, nutritionism

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