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Revista de Nutrição

On-line version ISSN 1678-9865

Rev. Nutr. vol.29 no.6 Campinas Nov./Dec. 2016 


Critical thinking: the better tool for food and nutrition education

Maria Cláudia da Veiga Soares CARVALHO1 

Maria Angélica Tavares de MEDEIROS2  3 

Maria Lúcia Magalhães BOSI4  3 

Shirley Donizete PRADO5  3 

1Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Departamento de Nutrição Social e Aplicada, Programa de Pós-Graduação em Nutrição. Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brasil. E-mail: <mariaclá>.

2Universidade Federal de São Paulo, Departamento de Políticas Públicas e Saúde Coletiva, Programa de Pós-Graduação em Alimentos, Nutrição e Saúde. Campus Baixada Santista. Santos, SP, Brasil. E-mail: <>.

3Associação Brasileira de Saúde Coletiva, Grupo Temático Alimentação e Nutrição em Saúde Coletiva. Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brasil.

4Universidade Federal do Ceará, Departamento de Saúde Comunitária, Programa de Pós-Graduação em Saúde Coletiva. Fortaleza, CE, Brasil. E-mail: <>.

5Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, Departamento de Nutrição Social, Programa de Pós-Graduação em Alimentação, Nutrição e Saúde. Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brasil. E-mail: <>.

The Brazilian Journal of Nutrition is a historical relevant journal in the field of Food and Nutrition; a field that in scientific and professional plans, is relatively recent. Its foundation as regular dates back to 1988 and since then has been consolidating the scientific production in this field, open access, disseminating research results, essays and discussions, thus it actualizes the democratic spirit required by committed scientific production with society.

Continuing this initiative, which affirms an ethical science able to change things, we present in this issue the thematic section "Food and Nutrition Education (FN)", in order to give visibility to the discussion of educational issues in the field of Food and Nutrition. Food and Nutrition Education is a central and challenging issue in Food and Nutrition Public Policies since the formation of this field. Nowadays, it strengthens in the National Food and Nutrition Policy and National Policy for Food and Nutrition Security.

In its constitution as a science in the 1940s, plunged into a scientific rationalization project, the educational process assumes the existence of the Brazilian eating pattern should change, especially in relation to the poorest sections of the population, resulting from the poor socioeconomic conditions in which they were inserted. The concept of an ideal diet has been the subject of several educational interventions focused on the community. Nowadays, criticism of a poor dietary pattern in relation to the consumption of fruits and vegetables, in addition to emphasizing insufficient sanitary conditions, has deepened with the demands of food and nutrition security in defense of the Human Right to Food (HRFN). However it is renewed with educational strategies based on sensitivity to the local culture and complex emerging subjective processes in this hyper modernity scenario.

In this scenery, new technologies focusing on virtual speed of information, spread all over virtual space of communication a vast and uncontrollable pool of current significance, in online areas of free access to every part of Brazil, promoting changes in social connections. However, although Food and Nutrition Public Policies mark a step forward in the consolidation of human right to adequate food, the process of modernization has not transformed the perverse condition of social inequality in Brazilian social organization. On the contrary, it deepened the symbolic violence covered by progressive liberal countenance, as if everyone had the same chance as if the world follows Darwin law in favor of the 'good' in a process of natural selection.

Driving a critical FN thinking intends to recognize ideologies because we cannot give away to the theoretical defects, or methodology, and isolate the social and economic conditions of policies. Ideologies are part of the political game that packs the FN and therefore need to be in constant debate. We must, above all, criticize our own course. In the context of doubtful and silenced ideologies, we are investing in critical and ethical thinking as the best FN tool, aware that the university needs to escape of being helpless and impaired, and have to continually rebuilding his speeches and educational action. We bet on the combination of information and reflection so that, being aware of our limitations, we can be aware of ourselves in conducting our lives for emancipator direction.

In this theme we present five articles around the FN praxis. The article "Analysis of nutrition (and food) education syllabus of nutrition undergraduate courses" analyzes the collective construction of contemporary initiatives and documents such as Marco FN of Reference for Public Policy, giving visibility to the exchange of experiences and knowledge that support this process. In the same motivation of a collective construction, the article "International cooperation for food and nutrition security: Systematization of the participatory, contextualized, and intersectoral educational practices" shows how the different teaching techniques adopted contributed to a shared building concept on Food and Nutrition Security, excelling the appreciation of the participation of social subjects and feeding peculiarities in different socioeconomic and cultural contexts.

The article on the systematic development of a "Pictorial instrument of food and nutrition education for promoting healthy eating" is focused on prevention and treatment of obesity and on health promotion eating, which reinforces the public utility character FN escaping from a practical / theory break. In this sense, in order to discuss and support FN actions under the lens of complex thinking, the article "Binge eating under a complex reading: Subsidies for the praxis of food and nutrition education" discusses the eating disorders and articulates theoretical points with the empirical ones, in order to emphasize singular designs projects that incorporate the experiences of life and the subjectivity of their target actors.

Finally, in the article "Nutritional care during prenatal and postpartum periods: A report of experiences in a city on São Paulo's coast" the authors report the partnership between a university and a service experience in the implementation of Nutrition Attention to Prenatal and Puerperium, and focus EAN, which allowed the development of surveillance actions to prenatal care, and to the bond of the teams with pregnant women and mothers.

All The research and reflection were developed in a contradictory scenario where both hunger and obesity are aesthetic atrocious of a kind of modernization, so we reinforce a critical thinking with the intention to modulate educational activities to plan educational activities and open gaps for each reader to assess favorable conditions to develop effective, grounded and democratic practices of Food and Nutrition Education.

Have a good reading!

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