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Nutr Res. 2016 Nov;36(11):1183-1192. doi: 10.1016/j.nutres.2016.10.006. Epub 2016 Oct 20.

Nutrition: ethical issues and challenges.

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Department of Nutrition, Meyer Hall, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA 95616, USA. Electronic address:
Active Wellness, Inc, 4000 Bridgeway, Suite 101, Sausalito, CA 94965, USA.


For nutrition and its associated disciplines, ethical considerations related to research are often complicated by factors that range from the use of experimental research designs that are overly holistic to inextricable links between nutrition research and marketing. As a consequence, there is the need for constant vigilance to assess and deal with apparent conflicts of interest. Also, there are few scientific disciplines that are defined by cultural, religious, or political codifications as is nutrition. Accordingly, examples of historical, cultural, and political events are described that have influenced ethical approaches related to nutrition research. Furthermore, nutrition research questions are often multifaceted and require dealing with complex variables. In this regard, ethical principles and perspectives that have relevance to data acquisition, the publication and translation of nutrition research, and the marketing of nutritional products and concepts are highlighted.


Fraud; Misconduct; Nutrition and politics; Nutrition and religion; Research ethics

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