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close this bookFood and Nutrition Bulletin Volume 12, Number 1, 1990 (UNU, 1990, 88 pages)
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Book reviews and notices

Research methods in nutritional anthropology. Edited by Gretel H. Pelto, Pertti J. Pelto, and Ellen Messer. United Nations University, Tokyo, 1989. (WHTR-9/UNUP-632, ISBN 92-808-0632-7) 218 pages. Paperback, US$15.

In recent years a multidisciplinary approach to problems of nutrition has developed. Out of the collaboration between nutritionists and anthropologists and other social scientists has emerged the new discipline of nutritional anthropology, whose theory and methodologies are having an important influence on the methods used in nutrition field studies.

Research Methods in Nutritional Anthropology is a unique guide for applying anthropological methods in studies related to nutrition-programme planning, development, and evaluation. The book's emphasis is on specific methodological problems likely to be important in field-based nutrition studies. Following a general discussion of the methodological options and strategies for field research, the authors concentrate on specialized issues such as methods for studying nutritionally related social behavior and household functioning, the determinants and cultural components of food intake, analysis of energy expenditure, and statistical methodologies.

This volume is a valuable contribution to further developing and refining methodological design and application for nutrition research.

 

Protecting, promoting and supporting breast-feeding: The special role of maternity services. A joint WHO/UNICEF statement. World Health Organization, Geneva, 1989. (ISBN 92-4-156130-0; order no. 1150326) Available in English and French; Arabic and Spanish editions in preparation. 32 pages. SwF 6; US$4.80.

This booklet sets out facts and lines of action to enable health services to achieve their full potential as part of society's first line of support to breastfeeding. It translates up-to-date scientific knowledge and practical experience about lactation into precise recommendations on care for mothers before. during, and after pregnancy and delivery. Information is addressed to health workers, particularly clinicians, midwives, and nursing personnel, but also to policy-makers and managers of maternal and child health and family-planning facilities.

The statements lists ten important steps to successful breast-feeding, intended for application in every facility providing maternity services and care for newborn infants. In unequivocal terms, readers are told that mothers should be helped to breast-feed within a half hour of birth, that newborn infants should be given no food or drink other than breast milk, unless medically indicated, and that rooming-in should be practiced 24 hours a day.

These and other key messages are then carefully elaborated in sections explaining what needs to be done - during health-worker training, when organizing health services, and in providing care for mothers and infants - to foster breast-feeding. The statement emphasizes the importance of correct attitudes, routines, and procedures for the normal initiation and establishment of breast-feeding.

Examples to avoid include indiscriminate use of medication during labour and delivery, administration of glucose water by bottle and teat before breast-feedings, separating mothers and infants, and providing feeding bottles and teats, infant formula, or pacifiers to mothers upon discharge.

The end of each section is punctuated by a shaded box that summarizes the main points just treated, further enhancing the booklet's value as a teaching tool. It concludes with a 20-point synthesis in the form of a check-list that maternity wards and clinics can use to gauge how well they are protecting, promoting, and supporting breast-feeding.

African crisis and food security. Special issue of the International Labour Review (vol. 127, no. 6). International Labour Organisation (ILO), Geneva, 1988.

This special issue on food security during the African crisis is a result of a two-year policy-review project on agricultural performance in African countries. Five country case studies (on Ghana, Madagascar, Nigeria, Somalia, and Uganda) are included, along with a synthesis chapter, entitled `'Getting the Crisis Right: Perspective on the African Crisis," which probes further into aggregate production data to establish the extent of production falls in African countries. Rising food imports are discussed in the context of rapid urbanization and changing diet patterns in urban areas. Copies can be obtained from the ILO.

Drought relief in Ethiopia: Planning and management of feeding programmes - A practical guide. Compiled by Judith Appleton, with the Save the Children Fund Ethiopia Team. Save the Children, London, 1987. 186 pages.

This extremely practical handbook, based on experience in Ethiopia, offers both dos and don'ts for feeding programmes under drought conditions and provides the guidance that planners and managers of drought-relief programmes need. For those faced with providing food relief in any disaster or refugee situation it will be invaluable.

The prevention and control of iodine deficiency disorders: A state-of-the-art review. By B. S. Hetzel, with discussions by F. Delange, J. B. Stanbury, and F. E. Viteri and an introduction by Mahshid Lotfi and J. B. Mason. ACC/SCN, Geneva, 1988.

This nutrition-policy discussion paper focuses particularly on measures for the prevention and control of iodine-deficiency disorders through the use of iodized oil and salt supplementation. Country control programmes and global strategy for the eradication of iodine-deficiency disorders are also emphasized.

The third publication in the ACC/SCN's state-oft-he-art series, it is available from the ACC/SCN Secretariat, c/o World Health Organization, 20 Avenue Appia, CH-1211 Geneva 27, Switzerland.

Cassava toxicity and food security. 2nd revised edition. Hans Rasling. UNICEF, New York, 1988. 40 pages.

The aim of this review, published by UNICEF's African Household Food Security Programme, is to summarize the available knowledge on the effects on humans of exposure to cyanide from cassava and to recommend ways to prevent these effects. Intended primarily for those involved in agriculture and health programmes with little previous knowledge of the subject, it discusses the nature of cassava toxicity, its determinants, and methods for the estimation of cyanide exposure as well as related diseases. Its recommendations will contribute to an understanding of the positive and negative effects of cassava in a broad perspective and also to defining areas for future research.

Guidelines for the use of vitamin A in emergency relief operations. International Vitamin A Consultative Group (IVACG), 1988.

This report was published in recognition of the special needs of malnourished populations during famine and the logistical constraints on relief operations. It gives the necessary measures for the prevention and treatment of vitamin-A deficiency in populations at risk - in particular, pregnant women and high-priority risk groups - and summarizes the information in tables. It will be a valuable reference for those involved in relief operations.

Available from the IVACG Secretariat, c/o International Life Sciences Institute/Nutrition Foundation' 1126 Sixteenth Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036, USA.

Chronic energy deficiency: Consequences and related issues. Edited by Beat Schürch and Nevin S. Scrimshaw. International Dietary Energy Consultative Group (IDECG). 200 pages.

This book contains background papers and working-group reports of the IDECG meeting held in Guatemala City in 1987. Copies are available without charge from the IDECG Secretariat, c/o Nestlé Foundation, PO Box 582, 1001 Lausanne, Switzerland.

Educational handbook for nutritionists. A. Oshang, D. Benbouzid, and J. J. Guilbert. 1988.

This draft handbook, taking advantage of new material developed in recent years, is intended as a tool for teachers of teachers and not as a self-learning instrument, although a handful of committed workers in the health sciences have used it for the latter purpose. As a draft, it is intended for testing by users during workshops. Comments are welcome.

Copies can be obtained from, and comments addressed to: Dr. D. Benbouzid, Nutrition Unit, Division of Family Health, World Health Organization, 20 Avenue Appia, CH-1211 Geneva 27, Switzerland.