Food and Nutrition hold a prominent status on the program of international organizations aimed at human development and the ecological sustainability of the planet, as well as on the public agenda of the Federal government.
Human nutrition involves a complexity of elements related to physical and chemical characteristics, nutritional, bioactive, sanitary, and sensory properties of foods, as well as cultural, historical, geographical, and ecological aspects; and the relationship of the men with food, which involves sociocultural, psychological, and anthropological aspects. The science of nutrition, in an interdisciplinary nature, studies human nutritional needs in different physiological states, health conditions, and physical demands, resulting from the intensity of using the body at work. Dietetics deals with the physical, chemical, and sensory transformations of foods submitted to culinary processing, combinations of ingredients and their characteristics and properties, aiming to meet the nutritional, digestive, sensory, and sanitary needs of healthy individuals and the specific demands of the disease.
Several professionals operate in this multidisciplinary field, especially those related to the generation of knowledge, whether they come from the training in Life Sciences (Health, Biological, and Agricultural areas), in the Sciences of Nature (Natural and Earth Sciences, Engineering, and Computer Science), or in the Humanities (Human Sciences, Applied Social Sciences, as well as Linguistics and Arts).
At the University of São Paulo (USP), the PG programs in the area of Food and Nutrition are scarce considering the importance that USP represents in the production and dissemination of science and technology nationally and internationally. Regarding the different USP facilities, we draw attention to the Ribeirão Preto Medical School (FMRP).
FMRP, with six decades of history, is an important teaching and research center and in the Nutrition area, since the end of the 1950s, under the responsibility of the Nutrology Department, an important training center for human resources in the area of Nutrition.
The foundation of the Nutrition and Metabolism Course (CNM) by FMRP and the provision of professors in its different departments from 2003 represented a huge advance, which is currently also represented by the training of nutritionists and other professionals in the health area. This legacy led the Course to an emphasis on Clinical Nutrition, which has a favorable environment, relying on researchers and professors with expertise in the area and related areas.
Some aspects should be highlighted: there are several researchers consolidated at FMRP working with Nutrition and Metabolism in different Graduate Programs (PPG) on campus and in different areas (Physiology, Biochemistry, Pharmacology, Immunology, Pathology, etc.); the establishment of the undergraduate course in Nutrition, which represents 10% of the total number of undergraduate degrees at FMRP; the proximity to the General Hospital; the few PPG in Food and Nutrition at USP, and the lack of PPG at USP with an emphasis on Clinical Nutrition, even knowing the dimension of the area of Food and Nutrition in this institution and in the region.