Nutritional epidemiology

Epidemiology is the study of diseases and health factors in a human or animal population. In human health, obesity is a typical example of a disease with multiple associated factors.

The frequency and distribution of diseases within a population and the determination of risk factors are therefore epidemiological research themes which provide essential information in public health terms.

Applied to a particular field of human nutrition, descriptive nutritional epidemiology enables the identification of population nutritional intake and the determination of insufficient intake prevalences and of the risks of exceeding safe intake levels. It also identifies food sources for nutritional intakes. Descriptive nutritional epidemiology therefore has an impact on agricultural and public health policies.

As for analytical nutritional epidemiology, this identifies the nutritional and food factors associated with the development of certain human diseases.

Lastly, nutritional epidemiology also seeks to assess educational and political initiatives.

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