Nutrition is the study of diet and how it affects the human body. Food provides the necessary vitamins, minerals and nutrients for life, growth and energy. Food plays an integral role in the health of a population. There have been, and continue to be, extreme variations in the human diet over time and place. For much of our history, people were hunters and gatherers and food was scarce.
Now, food is much more available and is largely purchased from supermarkets or restaurants. As well, people around the world have major differences in what they eat. Diet can vary according to age, religion, geographical location, culture, income and ethnicity. The typical “Western” diet is one high in processed food, particularly those high in sugar, fat and salt. This diet is increasingly replacing traditional diets all over the world.