|Food and Nutrition Bulletin Volume 16, Number 3, 1995 (UNU Food and Nutrition Bulletin, 1995, 94 pages)|
Fetal and infant origins of adult disease. Edited by D. J. P. Barker. British Medical Journal, London, 1993. (ISBN 07279-0743-3) 343 pages, hardback.
This may be the most important book for nutritionists that the Food and Nutrition Bulletin has ever reviewed. In the past, low birth weight due to foetal undernutrition was also common in today's industrialized countries. The book is a collection of 31 previously published papers by Barker and colleagues finding that low weight at birth and at one year of age is associated with higher morbidity and premature morbidity from chronic degenerative disease in later life, at least in individuals exposed to today's high-fat, high-calorie diets. Men in Hertfordshire, England, who suffered foetal growth retardation at birth between 1911 and 1930 were found to have higher mortality from hypertension, stroke, and cardiovascular disease in association with higher levels of cholesterol, apolipoprotein B. clotting factors, fibrinogen, and factor Vll, all risk factors for ischemic heart disease. The same relationships were seen with stunting at 12 months of age. About 70% of the men on whom early weight data were obtained were either identified or the cause of their death determined. High 24-hour plasma glucose, increased insulin tolerance, and adult-onset diabetes are also more common among men in Hertfordshire 46 to 54 years of age with low weight at birth and at one year of age who were born between 1920 and 1930. Birth weight was also related to adult lung function and death from chronic obstructive lung disease in these men. Both prenatal and postnatal factors influence early growth and thereby differences in average height. It was more difficult to trace the women because of marital name changes, but enough were located to establish the same relationships.
In a study of 449 infants born between 1935 and 1943 in a maternity hospital in Preston, England, adult blood pressure of men and women was strongly predicted by a combination of high placental weight and low birth weight. Since publication of the book, many additional articles with similar findings have been published by this group. As a group, these studies have devastating implications for the adult lives of the huge number of low birth weight and stunted children in the world today who are likely as adults to be consuming diets relatively high in fat and cholesterol. Every nutritionist needs to become familiar with this evidence, and that from earlier studies, linking low height and weight in early childhood in lower socio-economic groups to lower cognitive performance (see Food and Nutrition Bulletin, Volume 14, Number 3, September 1992).
A new paradigm for understanding the relationship between early malnutrition and health and disease throughout the entire life-span is emerging. This book is important for everyone with a need to understand the mounting evidence for this new paradigm.
Child growth and nutrition in developing countries. Priorities for action. Edited by Per Pinstrup-Anderson, David Pelletier, and Harold Alderman. Cornell University Press, Ithaca, N.Y., USA, and London, 1995. (ISBN 08014-8189-9) 447 pages.
The outstanding editors and authors of this volume have provided a comprehensive and critical review of current knowledge of programmes for nutritional improvement with special attention to the multiple constraints on their implementation. This book attempts to communicate past experience as a means of enhancing the probability of more success in future initiatives. The book does not attempt to deal in depth with the magnitude of malnutrition and its consequences, topics that are well covered in other recent publications. Instead, it focuses on the issues of household behaviour and interventions that influence it, including nutrition education and growth monitoring, as well as interventions directly influencing health and access to food, community participation, multisectoral planning, nutrition, and health information.
The amount of food available in the home is not a reliable indicator of that consumed by the young child and of interactions of the child with caretakers and with their environment. The overview by the editors emphasizes that child survival is not enough and that policy makers should be concerned with the quality of the survivors. Cost estimates for child survival programmes reveal the gross inadequacy of the expenditures by most developing countries. Nutrition policy makers and planners should turn to this book for effective and sustained initiatives for the alleviation of malnutrition.
S.O.S. for billion. The conquest of iodine deficiency disorders. B.S. Hetzel and C.S. Pandav. Oxford University Press, Bombay, 1994. (ISBN 0-19-563552-3) 285 pages, paperback.
At the beginning of the decade, it was estimated that a billion people were at risk for iodine deficiency disorders (IDD). As the result of a concerted advocacy effort by the International Council for the Control of iodine Deficiency Disorders (ICCIDD) and the strong support of UNICEF and WHO, rapid progress is being made in the iodation of salt for the prevention of IDD. This book is edited by the Executive Director and Regional Directors of ICCIDD for South-East Asia, and its chapters are written by those engaged in the ICCIDD initiative. They describe the global progress in preventing IDD, the specific programmes that are proving effective, and the successful experiences of individual countries. It is written in non-technical language and should be particularly useful for policy makers.
Physiological and clinical aspects of short-chain fatty acids. Edited by John H. Cummings, John L. Rome beau, and Takashi Sakata. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1995. (ISBN 0-521-44048) 575 pages, hardback.
This volume examines the role of short-chain fatty acids in digestion, in the function of the large intestine, and in human health. Short-chain fatty acids are the major product of bacterial fermentation of dietary carbohydrates in the human and animal large intestine. They provide a means whereby energy from carbohydrates that have not been digested in the upper gut can be salvaged from the caecum and colon. It is now increasingly recognized that they may have a significant role in protecting against large-bowel disease and in tissue metabolism. The 33 chapters are written by authors from eight industrialized countries and review every aspect of the topic. The volume is the first comprehensive reference source on this topic.
Glutamine: Physiology, biochemistry and nutrition in critical illness. Wiley W. Souba. R. G. Landis, Austin, Tex., USA, 1992. (ISBN 1-879702-36-3) 105 pages, hardback. US$89.95, $108.00 worldwide.
This slender volume is important because of the high rate of glutamine utilization that occurs in stimulated lymphocytes and macrophages, making it essential for the normal functioning of these cells in the immune response. The catabolic alterations in interorgan glutamine flow that occur following infection are profound but are rapidly reversed with recovery. Thus the value of glutamine-enriched diets is controversial. This book should be in nutrition libraries, but its cost places it beyond the reach of most individuals.
Cultivating crisis: The human cost of pesticides in Latin America. Douglas L. Murray. University of Texas Press, Austin, Tex., USA, 1994. (ISBN 0-29275169-0) 177 pages, paperback.
Since World War 11, the Green Revolution has boosted agricultural production throughout the developing world. However, the massive pesticide dependence associated with it has caused environmental damage and, under some circumstances, serious public health problems. The volume is based on 10 years of field research and considers both the macroeconomic and the geopolitical aspects of pesticide dependence, as well as the micro-consequences for communities and individuals. Although the book is based on experiences in Latin America, its observations are applicable to nearly all developing countries. It will be of great interest to anyone concerned about pesticide overuse and misuse.
Environment and agriculture: Rethinking development issues for the 21st century. Winrock International, Morrilton, Ark., USA, 1994. (ISBN 093359585-9) 265 pages, paperback.
This book is the proceedings of a 1993 symposium. It focuses on five topics: conserving and enhancing soil resources for the future; water resources, agriculture, and the environment; poor people, resources, and the environment; forest resources and forestry policies; range and wildlife resources; and genetic conservation and biodiversity. In common with the preceding book, it notes that poverty alone cannot be blamed for the environmental damage being done by agriculture in poor countries, since overirrigating and overuse of pesticides by well-to-do large or commercial farms are doing the most damage. It chronicles the transition in progress in one century from a resource based agriculture, in which almost the only way to get growth was to expand the area cultivated, to a science-based agriculture, in which natural resources play a still important but diminishing role. A closing chapter considers how this transition must be brought to the farmers of all countries.
Educational handbook for nutrition trainers: How to increase your skills and make it easier for students to learn. A. Oshaug, D. Benbouzid, and J.-J. Guilbert. World Health Organization, Geneva, 1993. Paperback. SwFr 65; US$58.50 (developing countries SwFr 45.50).
This handbook has been adapted from one developed and improved over two decades and used in hundreds of training workshops for physicians and nurses. It is now designed for the training of nutrition and nutrition-related personnel. It is a tool for teachers and not a self-learning manual. The first 67 pages focus on how to identify priority problems and define educational objectives. The next 22 pages deal with planning and evaluation systems. Seventy-seven pages are devoted to the teaching-learning concept and designing a student-centered learning program. Fifty-six pages discuss the design of evaluation instruments and assessing student performance using oral and written examinations. A final chapter describes how to organize an educational workshop. Its concise bibliography provides additional references on health needs and resources and organization of health services; medical education and education in general, educational objectives, programme planning, teaching methods, and techniques; and evaluation, tests, and measurements. This volume is focused entirely on methodology, although it does provide guidance as to how to choose the substance to be communicated. Inexperienced trainers will find this volume valuable, and it is suggested that it be used on a team rather than on an individual basis. Even experienced trainers will find that this volume provides a useful check-list and valuable suggestions that can significantly improve the quality of their nutrition teaching.
Evaluation of certain veterinary drug residues in food. Forty-second Report of the Joint FAD/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives. WHO Technical Report Series no. 851. World Health Organization, Geneva, 1995. (ISBN 92-4-120851-1) 42 pages, paperback. SwFr 10; US$9 (developing countries SwFr 7).
Monitoring universal salt iodization programmes. Edited by Kevin M. Sullivan, Robin Houston, Jonathan Gorstein, and Jenny Cervinskas. PA MM/M I/ ICCIDD, Atlanta, Gal, USA, and Ottawa, Canada, 1995. (ISBN 0660-16000-5) 101 pages, paperback. Requests for copies can be directed to: PAMM/Department of International Health Rollins School of Public Health of Emory
1518 Clifton Road, NE, 7th Floor
Atlanta, GA 30322, USA
Tel: 404-727-5724 Fax: 404-727-4590
The Micronutrient Initiative P. O. Box 8500 250 Albert Street Ottawa, Canada K1G 3H9 Tel: 613-236-6163 Fax: 613567-4349