|Food and Nutrition Bulletin Volume 01, Number 2, 1979 (UNU, 1979, 48 pages)|
|News and notes|
The Children of Santa Maria Cauque: A Prospective Field Study of Health and Growth (by Leonardo J. Mata; Cambridge: M.I.T. Press; June 1978; 395 pp; $19.95) examines health and growth in a rural Guatemalan village during the 1960s. A multidisciplinary approach that focuses primarily on malnutrition and infectious disease, the book is based on nine years of incidence observation in conjunction with the Institute of Nutrition of Central America and Panama (INCAP). During this period, researchers studied a small group of infants from gestation, while also observing nearly every person in the village in order to obtain a good idea of the community health situation, particularly in relation to the values and attitudes of the villagers. Prompt examination of collected biomaterials was made possible by a field station, resident staff, and nearby microbiological and statistical laboratories. All of the medical observations are made within a social and cultural framework which the author describes simply and with compassion. Nevin S. Scrimshaw, Institute Professor at M.I.T and an authority on the effects of nutrition on the development of children, comments that the book is "unlike any other published field study in its almost daily observations of microbiological and general status in the direct response to the cultural and environmental events to which each child is exposed from fetal life to school age. It will be read with great fascination by all persons interested in child health and development under conditions of underprivilege. "
Development, Reform, and Malnutrition in Chile (by Peter Hakim and Giorgio Solimano; Cambridge: M.l.T. Press; July 1978; 88 pp; $10.00) offers some surprising discoveries about the relationship between economic growth and nutrition conditions in a changing Third World country. The book spans 40 years of changing political, social, and economic conditions and takes a particularly hard look at Chile's milk-distribution program. Challenging the standard view that sustained economic growth, coupled with social legislation, inevitably leads to improved standards of nutrition the conclusions of Hakim, who is a Program Officer at the Ford Foundation, and Solimano, who is a former Director of the Nutrition Department of the Ministry of Health in Chile, and currently Associate Professor of Public Health at Columbia University, will be of great interest to health-care legislators and policy-makers.
Fish Protein Concentrate: Panacea for Protein Malnutrition? (by E.R. Pariser et. al.; Cambridge: M.I.T. Press; June 1978; 296 pp; $17.50). During the 1960's, fish protein concentrate (FPC), a white powder produced from whole fish, was widely publicized as the most promising of a number of "technological fixes" for ridding mankind of malnutrition. In this book, the authors discuss why the programme ultimately failed, providing evidence that malnutrition extends well beyond the so-called protein gap, and showing that it is not possible to alleviate hunger or nutritional disease by treating them as single-factor deficiencies.
"A smartly written, marvelously revealing inquiry into how the vast US government operates at the battalion level, which, as all modern presidents learn sooner or later, is the echelon that often achieves or thwarts their grand designs.
"The work of four specialists now or previously associated with nutritional studies at M.l.T. - E R Pariser, Mitchel B. Wallerstein, Christopher J. Corkery, and Norman L. Brown
- Fish Protein Concentrate is a political rather than a technical inquest into a small federal program that promised technological salvation for the world's undernourished masses, and then stumbled into extinction."
- Daniel S. Greenberg, Washington Post
Nutrition and National Policy (edited by Beverly Winikoff; Cambridge: M.I.T. Press, September 1978; $22.50) presents case studies of the attempts of 11 governments to tackle nationwide problems of malnutrition. Ten of the nations are usually described as "developing"-Chile, Colombia, Ghana, Nigeria, Indonesia, Jamaica, Panama, the Philippines, Tanzania, and Zambia. The eleventh-the United States-is wealthy but it has its own nutrition problems, some of which are similar to those of developing nations and others that are more symptomatic of affluent societies. The book examines the relations between nutrition and culture, health policy, political process, agriculture policy, and economics. It questions the old solutions to malnutrition in order to discover why these have proved ineffective, and points to key issues and stumbling blocks in governmental attempts to deal with nutrition problems. Based on the conference "Nutrition and Government", sponsored by the Rockefeller Foundation and organized by Winikoff while she was the Foundation's Assistant Director for Health Sciences, the book will interest readers concerned with the intricate and complex relationship between nutrition, health care, and government policies in nations at all stages of development.
A Growth Chart for International Use in Maternal and Child Health Care-Guidelines for Primary Health-Care Personnel, 36 pages; WHO, Geneva, 1978. Price: SWFr. 10/ - . This is a guide for the use of growth charts and includes a model chart which can be easily adapted to local needs. It describes how the model chart was developed and offers simplified instructions for use by primary-health workers.
Report of a Regional Workshop on Systems for Monitoring and Predicting Community Nutritional Status, Manila, Philippines, 29 March-5 April 1978. WHO Regional Office for the Western Pacific, Manila.