| Research Methods in Nutritional Anthropology (1989) |
Nutritional anthropology has emerged as a new branch of applied anthropology over the past 15 years, and its methods are having an important influence on the methods of nutrition survey and nutritional epidemiology. This book originated with United Nations University support for a workshop organized by the International Union of Nutrition Science's (IUNS) Committee on Nutritional Anthropology. This workshop was convened at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in September 1981. The IUNS committee, under the chairmanship of Gretel Pelto, commissioned the papers in this volume.
The field of nutritional anthropology has continued to develop rapidly since the original workshop and the subsequent period in which the chapters were written. Nevertheless, the chapters provide targeted methodological guidance that is not available elsewhere for applying anthropological methods to the conceptionalizing, conducting, and analysing of nutritional studies.
This book is intended for both anthropologists and nutritionists who are pursuing community nutrition studies in either industrialized or developing countries. It provides solid information on the development and application of anthropological methodologies for studying key aspects of the nutrition of individuals, families, and communities. An introductory overview of methodological options in nutritional anthropology and strategies for field research provide a background for the more specialized chapters, which deal with methods for studying nutritionally related social behaviour and household functioning, the determinants of food intake, the analysis of energy expenditure, and appropriate statistical methodologies.
The United Nations University has also encouraged the extension of anthropology to nutrition by the continuing sponsorship of a computerized global "Directory of Anthropologists and Sociologists Concerned with Food and Nutrition" and by establishing, with UNICEF and Ford Foundation support, a worldwide network for the involvement of anthropologists in the assessment of programmes of nutrition and primary health care. The experience of this network has resulted in the development of a monograph, Rapid Assessment Procedures for Nutrition and Primary Health Care: Anthropological Approaches to Improving Programme Effectiveness. This monograph has been published in English and Spanish by the Latin American Center, University of California, Los Angeles.
The United Nations University hopes that these publications will contribute significantly to the increasing recognition and use of nutritional anthropology in developing as well as industrialized countries.
Nevin S. Scrimshaw,
Food and Nutrition Programme,
United Nations University