Nutritional Sciences is the study of food, nutrients, and other food substances, the intake and biochemical processing of food substances, their relationship to health and disease, and the application of this information to policy and programs. Its application is far reaching. Nutritional scientists understand how food is digested, absorbed, and metabolized at different stages of life, and investigate the effects of nutrient deficiencies and excesses to prevent and treat disease. Those who work in the field of nutritional science also draw on knowledge of the social sciences to understand the socio-cultural, psychological, economic, and political factors influencing food choice and health statues. Foci within the field include diverse approaches, from the study of biochemical pathways and interactions with genetics, to observing population intake and relationship to health outcomes (nutritional epidemiology), to designing and testing nutrition interventions to improve community health, to managing nutrition programs and policies to ensure access to nutritious food, among others.