University of Leeds

University of Bradford

Wakefield Council

You Are What You Ate

Science and nutrition:
food lessons from the past

Learn more about the biochemistry of foods, balanced diets and modern eating patterns.

Seasonal and imported foods on display at Sandal castle (including a purple carrot), photo courtesy of You Are What You Ate

Science and nutrition

Learn more about the biochemistry of foods, balanced diets and modern eating patterns. Food science and nutritional epidemiology are fields of biomedical science committed to making an impact on nutrition and improving population health. Epidemiology is the science of disease patterns and behaviour. Through the involvement in the project of nutrition specialists, members of the public will understand and experience the differences between modern diets and those of several hundred years ago, focusing on food quality, food processing, choice and the whole concept of ‘healthy’ foods. Recent research at Leeds in these fields focuses on polyphenols, antioxidants and flavonoids (the biochemistry of ‘healthy’ food) and on the impact of caffeine and fruit on the diets of pregnant women and children.

Follow the links below to find out more about themes including nutrition, a balanced diet, digestion and modern eating patterns.

Person exercising (image source: Stock.Xchg)
A healthy lifestyle

Image of a pear (source: Stock.Xchg)Digestion and the biochemistry of the body

Bread (image courtesty of You are what you ate)
What is a balanced diet?

Diet and nutrition, fruit and vegetables (photo credit: Fiona Pragoff, Wellcome Images)Five a day

A glass of clean clear tap water (image courtesy of the Wellcome Image Library)
Food groups: elements of a healthy diet

Image of laboratory bottles (source: Stock.Xchg)Magic: transforming fat into sugar

Image of an egg and a whisk (source: Stock.Xchg)The effects of cooking on nutrition

Medieval Joan with a basket of vegetables (image courtesty of the University of Leeds)Food, family and community

Image of fish (photo courtesy of Sara Garduno)
Eating habits of ethnic minority populations

Market stall (photo courtesty of Sara Garduno)
Income and diet

Candles (image source: Stock.Xchg)Religion and food

Detail from a closeup of a cheeseburger and chips (image courtedsy of the Wellcome Library)Ultra-processed foods

Regaine Scharf, School of Food Science and Nutrition, University of LeedsA day in the life of a food scientist

Vegetables on display at a 'You are what you ate' (photo courtesy of You are what you ate)Find out more