Ways_of_knowing.09w - Nutritionists Ways of Knowing...

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Nutritionists’ Ways of Knowing
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Required Reading Feb. 5: Nutrition Now : Unit 3 Feb. 10: Nutrition Now : Unit 18
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Introduction How do nutritionists determine relationships between diet and health? What is the evidence? How is the evidence obtained? Why can’t the experts get it right the first time? What should the public believe?
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Diet/Health Relationships Diseases are often multifactorial Signs and symptoms are slow to develop Food intake is difficult to measure Correlations/associations do not establish cause and effect Single experiments are rarely definitive
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The Scientific Method Make careful observations Generate hypothesis Test hypothesis (develop evidence) Reject, revise, or accept hypothesis Develop model to explain mechanism Theory accepted by scientific community
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Clinical Trials Two groups of subjects One group receives an experimental treatment, e.g. a pill or a particular diet The second group (control) receives a placebo or their normal diet A specific biological outcome is measured in both groups If outcomes are different, then the hypothesis is supported
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The Mystery of Pellagra Symptoms Dermatitis Diarrhea Dementia Death
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Observations Prevalent among poor southerners in early 1900’s in the U.S. More prevalent where corn was staple Often affected several family members Often flared up in spring when mosquitoes were active Hypothesis: Pellagra is an infectious disease
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Joseph Goldberger Grew up on Lower East Side M.D. Bellevue Hospital Medical School, 1895 Assigned by U.S. surgeon general in 1914 to re-evaluate the pellagra problem
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A Plague of Corn The Social History of Pellagra Daphne A. Roe Late Professor of Nutrition, Cornell
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This note was uploaded on 05/04/2009 for the course FD SC 150 taught by Professor Gravani&miller during the Spring '07 term at Cornell University (Engineering School).

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Ways_of_knowing.09w - Nutritionists Ways of Knowing...

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