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Inter disciplina

versión On-line ISSN 2448-5705versión impresa ISSN 2395-969X


VARGAS DOMINGUEZ, Joel. Alcohol as food: histories about calories and the human motor between the 19th and 20th centuries. Inter disciplina [online]. 2019, vol.7, n.19, pp.139-161.  Epub 25-Ene-2021. ISSN 2448-5705.

This article traces the historical development of the use of calories in nutrition science during the 19th and the early decades of the 20th century, in Europe, the United States and Mexico. The argument is that thermodynamic concepts, instruments and practices, born in very specific places in Europe, were mobilized around the world, consolidating the idea of the human body as a human motor. This powerful metaphor created an understanding of the calories as integral part of foodstuffs, guiding the research of physiologists, chemists, and also the popularization of nutritional knowledge.

Using the tools developed by the history of science, the author argues that this understanding of the body as a motor and of nutrition as an input-outcome process, may obscure the social and cultural context which lies in the popularization and use of nutritional standards, which may be relevant in the understanding of food as an object of analysis.

Palabras llave : history of science; history of nutrition; human motor; calories; food studies.

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