Nutritionism is a term coined by the Australian sociologist, Gyorgy Scrinis, and popularized by Michael Pollan. It means reducing the value of a food to its content of specific nutrients.
This General Mills cereal advertisement is a perfect illustration of how nutritionism works.
Here is one of the six examples:
Chocolate Chex has more iron than black beans?
This may be a true statement, but it is misleading.
What General Mills is not saying is:
- Whether iron is absorbed from Chocolate Chex as efficiently as it is from black beans.
- What nutrients are in black beans that do not appear in Chocolate Chex.
- How much sugar Chocolate Chex provides as compared to black beans.
- Which of these foods is better for your health.