The astonishing range of dietary patterns within which humans
can thrive contrasts with the precision of human metabolic processes.Nonetheless, reduced food diversity can pose major challenges for child health and
more broadly for public health in rich and poor nations alike. How do societies provide the right balance of both food and nutrients—not too much but not too little—to meet immediate health needs? Simultaneously, how can childhood nutrition be
optimized for a lifetime of good health, when diseases of aging
may be far from the minds of parents and clinicians? How can the
greater good be balanced against the possibility of harms for
some?And how can these aims be achieved in a culturally acceptable way at a population level?