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Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
Introduction "Survey Structure & Food inadequacy and anthropometry"
Chapter 1 (pages 8-31)
Chapter 2 (pages 32-61)
Chapter 3 (pages 62-79)
Chapter 4 (pages 80-86)
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The Fifth World Food Survey reviewed the world food situation up to the early 1980s. Since then, much has changed on the world economic scene. With the collapse of communism, the socalled transition economies have emerged in Eastern Europe and the former USSR; a group of newly industrializing countries has begun to emerge in East and Southeast Asia; and many countries in Latin America and the Caribbean and Africa have been through a difficult period owing to a combination of debt crises, falling commodity prices, the rigours of stabilization and structural adjustment programmes and, in many cases, drought and war. At the same time, the spate of new breakthroughs that were being made in agricultural technology in the 1960s and 1970s appear to have waned in the 1980s, while environmental degradation has emerged as a major concern. All these changes have potential consequences for the supply and distribution of food around the world, with implications for the nutritional wellbeing of its inhabitants.
The Sixth World Food Survey attempts to review the emerging situation of food and nutrition in the world as a whole and in its various regions. The latest period assessed is the triennium 1990-92 but, where possible, comparisons are made with earlier periods - specifically, the triennia 1969-71 and 1979-81 - in order to analyse the pattern of change over time. Three major issues are covered in this survey: i) trends in the availability, regional distribution and composition of food supply in the world; ii) trends in the nutrition situation of the developing countries as assessed by different measures of food inadequacy; and iii) the anthropometric assessment of the nutritional status of people in the developing countries.
This introductory chapter gives a brief outline of the structure and contents of the survey before clarifying certain concepts that figure prominently in later chapters, which refer to estimates of food inadequacy, undernutrition and the assessment of nutritional status. These terms relate to the food and nutrition situation of a population, and an attempt is made here to explain what they mean and how they relate to or differ from each other, so as to help readers interpret the numerical estimates offered in this report.
As indicated above, the latest period of assessment in this survey is 1990-92 and the analyses focus on the longterm changes that occurred during the previous two decades. In the future it is planned to issue world food survey updates on a regular basis so as to reflect new data and shortterm changes in food supply levels and the prevalence of food inadequacy or undernutrition.
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