Human nutrition in the developing world contributes to the continuing efforts of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to improve the nutritional status of all populations. It is produced to reinforce FAO's implementation of the recommendations of the International Conference on Nutrition (ICN), held in December 1992 in Rome. It provides detailed and amplified information on the major themes addressed during the ICN, in a simple and practical manner. The book draws from the earlier publication Human nutrition in tropical Africa (FAO, 1965; second edition 1979), presenting an expanded, up-to-date, global perspective.
FAO strongly emphasizes that food-based approaches are the only sustainable way to improve the nutritional status of all. In developing countries better development of agricultural resources can improve food supplies, employment and incomes and enable adequate diets. Even among low-income families, diets can be improved by properly combining foods that are commonly available. Every food can have an important function in the human diet.
This book provides sound science-based information on food, nutrients, the causes of malnutrition, nutritional disorders and their prevention. The information can be used by workers in the field and disseminated to assist the public in making informed food choices and appropriate decisions about diet. The publication will be especially useful for those working with rural populations.
While various aspects of human nutrition are covered in this text, special emphasis is given to applied and multidisciplinary approaches for the alleviation of malnutrition. These approaches should facilitate both intersectoral and multisectoral actions for promoting and protecting nutritional well-being among people in developing countries.
It is hoped that Human nutrition in the developing world will serve as a comprehensive introduction to nutritional problems in developing countries. The book is also designed as a useful reference for workers in agriculture, health, education and other fields who are seeking to promote simple, practical and affordable actions to solve nutritional problems in developing countries.
This book was made possible through Professor Michael Latham's prodigious work in preparing the basic text. We at FAO are extremely grateful to Professor Latham for sharing his vast knowledge of nutrition with all readers.
John R. Lupien
FAO Food and Nutrition Division