|Culture, Environment, and Food to Prevent Vitamin A Deficiency (International Nutrition Foundation for Developing Countries - INFDC, 1997, 208 pages)|
|Part I. Vitamin A in food and diets|
|1. Vitamin A and food: The current situation|
This book is structured to give the reader the logical flow of our research process to create the FES protocol, the final result which is a manual presented in the companion volume. The book contains four parts: 1) the background of knowledge on vitamin A in food and diets; 2) creating the protocol; 3) the community assessments of natural food sources of vitamin A that tested the protocol; and 4) the final section that contributes new understanding about community deficiency of vitamin A. Following this introduction, we discuss the factors involved in understanding vitamin A in food and diets with emphasis on populations at risk for vitamin A deficiency (Chapter 2). Chapter 3 describes how the process evolved through the International Union of Nutritional Sciences, Committee II/6 in Nutrition and Anthropology, with funding from the International Development Research Centre of Canada. We also describe the FES methods developed for testing in five diverse cultural and environmental areas where vitamin A is at risk.
The manual was tested with the Aetas of Canawan in the Philippines during wet and dry seasons, with the Hausas of Filingué in Niger, with the people of Doumen of Kai Feng Municipality in China, with the Comunidad Campesino of Chamis and the Barrio San Vicente of Cajamarca in Peru, and with the people of Sheriguda Village of the Ranga Reddy District of Andhra Pradesh in India. In Chapters 4 through 8, reports from the research teams in these five areas relate their experiences with the FES protocol, and important findings that resulted from using the protocol in their countries.
Chapter 9 summarizes key points of the field tests from a methodological perspective. It also includes general observations concerning culture, environment, and vitamin A deficiency. As future studies are conducted with the manual, we hope the methodology provided by the FES structure will serve as the framework for systematic cross-cultural comparisons on a broader database. The chapter concludes with a discussion of utilization of knowledge about culture and environment in developing interventions to prevent vitamin A deficiency.
References are given at the end of the book. These are followed by an Appendix that gives the Table of Contents of the manual, entitled Community Assessment of Natural Food Sources of Vitamin A: Guidelines for an Ethnographic Protocol.