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close this bookCulture, Environment, and Food to Prevent Vitamin A Deficiency (International Nutrition Foundation for Developing Countries - INFDC, 1997, 208 pages)
View the document(introductory text...)
View the documentPreface
View the documentAcknowledgements
View the documentContributing authors
close this folderPart I. Vitamin A in food and diets
close this folder1. Vitamin A and food: The current situation
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View the documentOverview: What this book is about
View the documentThe Vitamin A situation
View the documentProposed solutions to the problem
View the documentFocused ethnography to understand local culture and environment for Vitamin A programs
View the documentThe structure of this book
close this folder2. The complexities of understanding Vitamin A in food and diets: The problem
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View the documentIntroduction
View the documentOverview of natural Food sources of Vitamin A
View the documentVitamin A food composition data
View the documentEffect of food processing on Vitamin A
View the documentFood composition tables for Vitamin A
View the documentAssessment of dietary Vitamin A intake
View the documentDietary Vitamin A intake patterns
View the documentOther dietary and health factors influencing Vitamin A status
View the documentPrograms that improve intake of Vitamin A-rich food
View the documentSummary
close this folderPart II. Creating the protocol
close this folder3. Theory and process: The methods
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View the documentThe International Union of Nutritional Sciences, committee on nutrition and anthropology
View the documentTheory of the methodological approach
View the documentOverview of methods of data-collection described in the protocol manual
View the documentTesting the protocol
View the documentComment
close this folderPart III. Assessing natural food sources of Vitamin A in the community
close this folder4. The Philippines: The Aetas Canawan during wet and dry seasons
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View the documentThe Vitamin A problem in the Philippines
View the documentThe Aetas of Canawan, Morong
View the documentThe Aeta's way of life
View the documentConcepts of food and deficiency
View the documentFactors affecting food intake
View the documentA typical meal
View the documentSuggested dietary modifications
close this folder5. Community assessment of natural food sources of Vitamin A in Niger: The hausas of Filingué
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View the documentBackground discussion of Niger
View the documentFood sources of Vitamin A
View the documentMeal patterns and food utilization
View the documentCultural beliefs about Vitamin A-rich foods
View the documentVitamin A deficiency
View the documentSummary and recommendations
close this folder6. China: The people of Doumen Village, Kai Feng Municipality, Henan Province
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View the documentBackground and introduction
View the documentEating Vitamin A-rich vegetable food
View the documentCultural beliefs regarding key foods
View the documentFood patterns
View the documentFood preparation
View the documentNightblindness
close this folder7. Peru: The rural community of Chamis and the urban suburb of San Vicente in Cajamarca
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View the documentIntroduction
View the documentOverview of the location
View the documentFood sources of Vitamin A
View the documentPrincipal differences between Chamis and San Vicente
View the documentFamily and individual food patterns
View the documentFeeding patterns by age gender
View the documentVitamin A-rich food patterns
View the documentCultural beliefs
View the documentVitamin A and health
View the documentSummary and conclusions
View the documentPolicy recommendations
View the documentRecommendations for research
close this folder8. India: The rural community of Sheriguda in Andhra Pradesh
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View the documentIntroduction
View the documentTeam members and task
View the documentCurrent status of the problem
View the documentStudy population
View the documentCommunity food sources
View the documentFood consumption pattern
View the documentCultural/ecological pattern
View the documentSummary and policy strategies
close this folderPart IV. Understanding Vitamin A deficieny in the community
close this folder9. The contexts of culture, environment, and food
View the document(introductory text...)
View the documentOverview
View the documentOverall performance of the protocol
View the documentKeys to finding local community food sources to prevent Vitamin A deficiency: What foods are available and how much vitamin a do they contain?
View the documentKeys to understanding consumption patterns of vulnerable groups
View the documentKeys to beliefs and perceptions about food
View the documentKeys to cultural, ecological and socioeconomic factors that constrain consumption of Vitamin A-rich food and prevention of deficiency
View the documentKeys to explanations and understandings of Vitamin A deficiency symptoms
View the documentLooking to the next steps: From ethnography to intervention design
View the documentReferences

The International Union of Nutritional Sciences, committee on nutrition and anthropology

The International Union of Nutritional Sciences (IUNS) Committee II/6 on Nutrition and Anthropology was the conception point for this project. Committee II/6 convened from 1990 to 1994 with the mandate to facilitate solutions to food and nutrition problems through the application of anthropological knowledge and techniques. To this end, the committee identified its objectives to address vitamin A deficiency, and in particular the use of natural food sources of vitamin A in communities to prevent deficiency. A planning subcommittee met in Washington D.C. in November 1990, to define its goals, and to set the framework of the project described here, which became an activity of the committee.

The IUNS Committee II/6 was comprised of Isabel Nieves (Guatemala) and Harriet Kuhnlein (Canada) as co-chairs; Gretel Pelto (USA, WHO), Richard Young (Canada, IDRC), S. Abdel-Azim Wahba (Egypt), C. Santos-Acuin (Philippines), P. Pushpamma (Singapore), K. Kalumba (Zambia), N. Ngokwey (Benin), H. Creed-Kanashiro (Peru), and L.H. Martinez Salgado (Mexico). The planning subcommittee became Kuhnlein, Pelto, Nieves, and Young; other committee members who eventually participated in the project were Acuin, Pushpamma, and Creed-Kanashiro.

Several committee members had previous experience with rapid ethnographic assessments, and it was significant that the origins of the ideas for the project germinated at the RAP conference in 1990 in Washington (see Scrimshaw and Gleason, 1992). Committee member G. Pelto had substantial experience in the creation of ethnographic assessments in health programs, notably with the respiratory diseases manual in use with WHO (Pelto and Gove, 1992; Gove and Pelto, 1994; WHO, 1993a; 1994). It was therefore felt that sufficient experience in this area existed within the committee.

Objectives and Funding

The planning subcommittee proceeded to define the objectives and workplan of the project, with the first step being a literature review. With the financial assistance of the International Nutrition Foundation for Developing Countries (N. Scrimshaw), a literature review was completed and published through McGill University with the participation of S.L. Booth, T. Johns, H.V. Kuhnlein, and I. Nieves (Booth et al., 1992, Johns et al., 1992, Kuhnlein, 1992; Kuhnlein and Nieves, 1992).

A one-year project proposal was funded by IDRC through McGill University (H.V. Kuhnlein) to develop a community assessment protocol manual for the identification of locally-available food sources of vitamin A. The protocol was to identify food sources, describe current patterns of use, particularly in relation to infants, children, and pregnant and lactating women, and to elucidate the ecological, economic, and cultural factors that influence these patterns. It would identify community beliefs and practices related to the signs and symptoms of xerophthalmia and health care practices related to these. The protocol was to be tested in five diverse areas of culture and ecology/food system type to fine tune it and determine its generalizability. Field testing was used to identify useful information resulting from the protocol for implementing food-based vitamin A deficiency prevention programs.

The International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and the International Nutrition Foundation for Developing Countries (INFDC) agreed to jointly publish two volumes related to the project: Community Assessment of Natural Food Sources of Vitamin A: Guidelines for Ethnographic Studies and Culture, Environment and Food to Prevent Vitamin A Deficiency. Publication planning and finalization was coordinated through the Centre for Nutrition and the Environment of Indigenous Peoples of McGill University.

Persons Involved, Basic Activities and Timeline

With objectives and planning accomplished, funding was implemented in 1993-1994. The persons finally contributing to the project were as follows:

· Planning: H.V. Kuhnlein, G. Pelto, R. Young, P. Pelto, I. Nieves

· Initial field testing and creation of module sections to the protocol manual: L. Blum, G. Pelto, T. Johns, S. Booth, H.V. Kuhnlein

· Literature review: S. Booth, T. Johns, H.V. Kuhnlein

· Training workshop: P. Pelto, L. Blum

· Field test site supervisors: L. Blum (Niger), H. Creed-Kanashiro (Peru), C. Santos-Acuin (Philippines), Li Wen Jun (China), P. Pushpamma (India). Site visits by P. Pelto, H.V. Kuhnlein

· Revisions to protocol manual: P. Pelto, H. V. Kuhnlein, G. Pelto, L. Blum

· Publications finalizing and submission: H.V. Kuhnlein

The timeline of activities was as follows:

· Communications with IUNS Committee II/6, identification of interested committee members, planning: 1990-1994

· Planning committee meetings in Washington, and by conference call: 1990-1993

· Training workshop, McGill University: May, 1993

· Commitment by field supervisors, budget distribution: May-August, 1993

· Field site testing: July, 1993-January, 1994

· Receipt of field test results: January, 1994

· Workshop on manual revisions: January, 1994

· Final revisions to manual received: January-June, 1994

· Submission of funding report and final draft of manual: June, 1994

· Reports to scientific meetings:

IUNS: August, 1993
Experimental Biology (FASEB): April, 1994
American Anthropology Association (AAA): November, 1994
IVACG: March, 1996

· Chapters to companion volume received: June-December, 1995

· Publications: March, 1996