Malnutrition can be traced to poor-quality diets lacking in diversity, a recent phenomenon in evolutionary history, according to a new paper from the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis.
The paper posits that a misalignment of modern diets and the genome has developed over time.
They write that ultra-processed foods, particularly oils, flours, and sugar, were not part of early evolutionary diets and may be a main driver of malnutrition.
Lora Iannotti is an associate professor and senior author of the paper, “Genome–nutrition Divergence: Evolving Understanding of the Malnutrition Spectrum,” published in the journal Nutrition Reviews. The first author on the paper was Jacob Eaton, a doctoral student in the Brown School working with Iannotti, and a McDonnell Academy Scholar.