It is wild watching Integrative&Functional Nutrition advocates claim that their paradigm uniquely honors cultural tradition. There is no need to cite low quality science to justify folks engaging w safe traditional practices that they prefer/help feel connected to their heritage.
Not to mention there is not much pushed by the paradigm [genetic testing, detox regimens, herbal/nutrient supplements, food intolerance and the litany of other unvalidated 'functional' test$, often sold by large western corporations] that honors tradition/culture.
Integrative and functional medicine was started by a white dude with a PhD in the 90s. The paradigm is westernized and just as often appropriates traditional medicines. You can be culturally competent, sensitive, and inclusive as a practitioner w/o embracing the branding of IFN.
I've seen a ton of folks who care a lot about diversifying dietetics and driving the field to be anti-racist also defending the integrative & functional brand heavily in recent convos,often arguing IFN somehow advances those causes. It is genuinely perplexing and worrisome to me.
We all know the evidence is shit in dietetics. The beauty of nutrition is that, people have to eat, and in the absence of rigorous evidence pointing to a strong medical indication, nutrition care is flexible & has tons of room for culture/religion/values influencing our choices.
Adopting the hand wavy, non systematic look at evidence pushed by IFN is so unnecessary (& often costly) and, if anything, inserts a bunch of medical sounding indications that dilute the prioritization of a patient/client's non-medical values as it relates to food choice.
Perplexing is the wrong word here. It's not perplexing, given how much of dietetics feels hostile towards discussions of making real progress towards DEI/anti racism. IFN is probably a safe space, but the baggage it comes with is huge, hence the worry.
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