Yes, I agree that it's both, to a certain degree, but the social side is far, far smaller than the dietary aspects, IMPO. "You're obviously wrong" is also a terrible argument, and quite rude.
It's a complicated subject and I'm afraid I've started a bit of a thread hijack, but , alas, it's an interesting subject, even if it's enough for you to lose your appetite. I mentoned individualistic vegetarianism is a symptom of "our" (mostly American but in many ways relative to much of North America and increasingly other parts of the world.) broken food culture. Poor nutrition and the obesity epidemic is another symptom. These are not outright separate phenomenoms.
Many ways it's broken:
- We rely on inexact, over-simplified and often opportunistic nutritional science as a guide how to eat rather than on culinary tradition or seasonal need.
- We have overwhelming selection of processed foods that come from shockingly few food sources. (i.e. in the US, corn).
- We have transformed our basic foods into something unrecognizabble and not as wholesome
- We have a centralised, non-transparent food supply system that we're out of touch with.
- We have unsubstainable resource-intensive farming practices (that includes "organic" fruits & veggies!).
- We have abhorent animal-rearing practices.
- We subsidize the "bad" foods, leaving the taxpayer, the healthcare system, and the envronment to pick up the rest of the tab.
- We are increasingly losing our own arable land to suburban development, and importing our food from foreign countries that have their own food (or lack thereof) issues.
In short, our over abundance of food -- a product of ubiquitous cheap energy -- and our weak culinary tradition has led to a culture where we do not RESPECT food. And we are not headed in the right direction unless, as a society, we make major changes sooner rather than later.