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close this bookFirst Report on the World Nutrition Situation (ACC/SCN, 1987, 78 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentFOREWORD
View the documentSUMMARY
Open this folder and view contents2. INDICATORS BY GROUPS OF COUNTRIES
Open this folder and view contents3. MICRONUTRIENTS
Open this folder and view contents4. TECHNICAL NOTES
View the documentGLOSSARY
View the documentREFERENCES
View the documentAPPENDIX


This section gives definitions of certain terms used in the text. for quick reference. Detailed definitions are given in section 4.

Child death rate: the number of deaths of children aged 1 through 4 years per 1000 child population of this age per year.

Dietary energy supply (DES): expressed as kcals/caput/day. The amount of food available to, not necessarily consumed by, the household; calculated from national food production and utilization data by the FAO Food Balance Sheet procedure (FAO, 1984), gives average per caput food availability for human consumption per year (see section 4.1.4).

Food production indices per caput: measure of changes in the total amount of edible food produced by a country per total population per year; calculated from price-weighted quantities of agricultural commodities (FAO, 1986). Reference period is 1979/81 = 100.

Goitre and cretinism: results of deficiency of iodine, an essential component of thyroid hormones. These and other effects are now referred to as "iodine deficiency disorders" (IDD's). Goitre means enlarged thyroid gland in the neck. Cretinism is a severe form of mental retardation.

Haemoglobin, anaemia: iron is an essential component of haemoglobin. Anaemia is lowered haemoglobin concentration in the blood, commonly due to iron deficiency, and is measured by haemoglobin levels, with cut-offs established by WHO (see section 4.10).

Incidence: number of new cases of a condition (e.g. cases of low birth weight per population per year) over a specified period of time, or as a percent of a rate (e.g. percent of births below 2.5 kg).

Infant mortality rate (IMR): the number of infant (below 1 year) deaths per 1,000 live births, usually presented for a given year.

Malnutrition (malnourished): used here to refer to physical effects in humans of dietary inadequacy, often exacerbated by infections, usually resulting from low total food (protein - energy) intake, resulting in inadequate growth in children and thinness in adults. The indicator used here is proportion or prevalence of 0-60 month old children underweight.

Micronutrients: vitamins and minerals - here Vitamin A, iron, iodine are discussed, being the most common deficiencies.

Prevalence: the proportion of population at one point in time, with a condition.

Retinol equivalent (RE), Vitamin A: pre-formed vitamin A from animal sources are retinol compounds; carotenes from vegetable sources are metabolized to retinol, usually 6 carotene units forming one retinol unit. Dietary vitamin A is therefore expressed as retinol equivalents, in order to sum all sources. Vitamin A is essential for the integrity of many tissues, notably for membrane function.

Undernutrition (undernourished): used here as shorthand, for ease of reading, to refer to inadequate access to food. The proportion or prevalence of undernutrition is calculated from a cut-off point (based on 1.2 BMR for adults here), DES, and an estimate of the distribution. Those estimated to have less than this cut-off are also referred to as having "marginal access to food". Details are in section 4.1.5.

Underweight (or child malnutrition): the percent of children 0 through 4 years who are below 2 standard deviations weight-for-age by NCHS/WHO standards is the prevalence of child malnutrition.

Xerophthalmia ("xeros", dry: "ophthalmia", eye): refers to the eye diseases specifically caused by vitamin A deficiency, often leading to blindness.