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Science
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Why is nutrition still so little understood?
Mondays 9 to 30 August 2004 09.00 - 09.30am  Rpt: 21.30- 22.00pm

Healthy nutrition is essential to our general well-being. Why then do so many of us choose to eat unhealthy food?

In this four part series, Roger Bolton explores the origins of nutritional science.  He asks why governments, food manufacturers and nutritionists find it so hard to agree about the recipe for a healthy diet.

Roger Bolton at Pirbright army camp

Programme 1:
War and Rationing

In this first programme, Roger Bolton visits the army training camp at Pirbright as he traces the historical connections between war and nutrition.

At the turn of the twentieth century, military planners found that many recruits were malnourished, suggesting that large sections of the population were not getting enough food. By the outbreak of the Second World War, nutritionists had devised a basic ration that kept the civilian population healthy.

In these times of plenty, how can the modern army ensure that its soldiers are properly nourished, and don't overeat?

Listen again Listen again to Programme 1
School meal

Programme 2:
School Meals

Concrete chips... soggy semolina... lumpy custard. Is that how you remember school dinners or did you fare better?

In the second programme in this series about nutrition, Roger Bolton visits his old primary school in Cumbria. How has the lunchtime menu changed since he was there forty years ago?

Roger investigates whether children's nutrition is any better now than when the first publicly funded school dinners were introduced nearly a century ago.

Listen again Listen again to Programme 2
Athletes

Programme 3:
Eating for Health

For modern athletes, an awareness of the importance of nutrition has become a necessary part of training. And not only what they eat, but when they eat.

In the third programme in this series, Roger Bolton asks what lessons the rest of us can learn from athletics. The more we understand about the interactions between our food and our genome, the more likely it is that one day each of us will have a personalised nutritional regime, tailored to our specific metabolism and energy requirements.

Could eating the right foods could help us live longer and fend off disease?

Listen again Listen again to Programme 3
Greengrocer's shop

Programme 4:
Messages

Faced with vast amounts of information about the food we eat, how do we decide which messages to believe? In the last programme in this series, Roger Bolton talks to politicians, nutritionists and food manufacturers about food messages. He also visits an advertising agency to get an insight into the difficulties of creating a message that will appeal to everyone. Modern consumers can chose from a vast range of foodstuffs, but does more necessarily mean healthier?

As Britain faces up to an epidemic of overeating, what steps should the government be taking to persuade us to adopt a healthier diet?

Listen again Listen again to Programme 4
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