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close this bookSCN News, Number 09 - Focus on Micronutritients (ACC/SCN, 1993, 70 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentRecent ACC/SCN publications
View the documentAddressing Micronutrient Malnutrition
View the documentMicronutrient Deficiency -The Global Situation
View the documentEffectiveness of Vitamin A Supplementation in the Control of Young Child Morbidity and Mortality in Developing Countries*
View the documentZinc Deficiency - Is It Widespread but Under-Recognized?
close this folderTHE MICRONUTRIENT FORUM
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View the documentSummary
View the documentTHE NEED FOR A “LIFE-STAGE” APPROACH TO MICRONUTRIENT INTERVENTIONS - A Comment on Micronutrient Intervention Strategies ACC/SCN Micronutrient Forum, Geneva, February 1993
View the documentPROGRAMME NEWS - MICRONUTRIENTS
close this folderNEWS AND VIEWS
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentAnaemia in Women
View the documentVitamin A Dispenser
View the documentVitamin A, Zinc and Stomach Cancer
View the documentDoubly Fortified Salt Marketed for the First Time
View the documentXV IVACG Meeting
View the documentControlling Vitamin A Deficiency - Policy Implications of Mortality Impact
View the documentUpdate on the UNICEF/WHO Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative
View the documentBreastfeeding Trends in Cuba
View the documentStatement by the World Food Programme on Implementing the International Conference on Nutrition Plan of Action
View the documentAustralia's Food and Nutrition Policy: Progress Report
View the documentGrowth Patterns in Breastfed and Formula Fed Babies
View the documentBreastfeeding Protects Against Diarrhoea's Effect on Growth
View the documentNew Bill Restricts Marketing of Infant Foods in India
View the documentUrinary Tract Infection and Breastfeeding - Evidence of Link
View the documentGlobal Eradication of Polio by the Year 2000 - an Achievable Goal?
View the documentSubstance Abuse Amongst Street Children
View the documentMortality Assessment in Somalia
View the documentIs Lead Damage Reversible?
View the documentTropical Diseases - New WHO Research Targets
View the documentDr Fernando Antezana Appointed Assistant Director-General of World Health Organization
View the documentMany Neighbours, One Earth - New Campaign to Transform US Foreign Aid
View the documentCo-financing Opportunities with the Asian Development Bank
View the documentWHO Division of Food and Nutrition
View the document20 Years of Tanzania Food and Nutrition Centre 1973-1993
View the documentWorld Breastfeeding Week 1993 - Mother Friendly Workplace Initiative
View the documentStudies in Nutrition at the University of Queensland
View the documentMaster of Community Nutrition (MCN)
View the documentResearch training (MMedSc and PhD)
View the documentDr J E Dutra de Oliveira Selected Fellow of the Third World Academy of Sciences
View the documentWorld Conference on Natural Disaster Reduction
View the documentOxfam Launches New Campaign for Africa
View the documentSecond Asian Conference on Food Safety
View the documentECSA Micronutrient Symposium
View the documentTraining Materials in Basic and Applied Nutrition
View the documentIUNS Awards - Correction
close this folderPUBLICATIONS
View the document“Hunger 1993: Uprooted People”
View the document“Child Malnutrition: Progress Toward the World Summit for Children Goal”
View the document“Investing in Nutrition with World Bank Assistance”
View the document“Understanding Intrahousehold Resource Allocation”
View the document“The Health of Women: A Global Perspective”
View the document“The Incidence of Poverty in Developing Countries: A Compendium of ILO Data”
View the document“Food, Health and Care: The UNICEF Vision and Strategy for a World Free from Hunger and Malnutrition”
View the document“Breastfeeding, Growth & Illness: An Annotated Bibliography”
View the document“The State of Breastfeeding in Ghana: Practices and Promotion”
View the document“The Economic Rationale for Investing in Nutrition in Developing Countries”
View the documentUrban Nutrition in Developing Countries
View the documentBack Cover

“The Economic Rationale for Investing in Nutrition in Developing Countries”

(1992) by Jere Behrman, USAID, Washington, D.C.

Jere Behrman has been one of the most active scholars in the field of economics of nutrition and human capital in developing countries. This publication, which summarizes what is known about the economic contribution of good nutrition, is another of his important contributions to the understanding of this complex topic. Whenever governments invest in programs such as nutrition, the most commonly used rationale is that it is part of the effort to meet the basic needs of the population, or generally the equity considerations. However, there is an economic argument, though less understood, for investing in nutrition, as Behrman points out. That is, that better nutrition increases the productivity of populations.

The publication is devoted to the review of evidence of the direct and indirect productivity effects of good nutrition. He has divided the evidence between the experimental surveys - using carefully designed controls - and the socio-economic surveys.

Behrman concludes that these studies tend to show that the returns to nutrition are even higher than the returns to education, although most education programs tend to have been much more emphasized in the literature. For example, studies in control of iron deficiency anemia have shown extremely high benefit-cost ratios, although he questions the assumptions related to the benefit side of the calculations. Nonetheless, the question is the order of magnitude of the benefits.

The available evidence, although hardly perfect, suggests that in terms of growth and productivity as well as equity concerns, there maybe payoffs to better nutrition in poorer areas of the developing world.

If the economic productivity gains to households from better nutrition are extremely high, as the studies would argue, why aren't households investing in these foods? Is it due to lack of specific nutrition knowledge? Behrman concludes that governments have the likely comparative advantage in assuring adequate information about nutrition, its nature, and its effects, given the public goods aspect of the information.

This publication is an important contribution to the state of knowledge of the relationship between nutrition and productivity in developing countries.

(For further information please contact: Office of Nutrition, USAID, 320 21st Street, N.W., Washington, D.C., 20523, USA. Tel: 703 875 4074 Fax: 703 875 7483)

M.G.