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Special topic

Household food distribution: Introductory remarks
The household focus in nutritional anthropology: An overview
A framework for tracing policy effects on intra-household food distribution
Estimating the nutritional impact of food policies: A note on the analytical approach
Determinants of family and preschooler food consumption
Effects of food policy on intrahousehold food distribution in Bangladesh
The significance of intra-household food distribution patterns in food programmes

Household food distribution: Introductory remarks

The six papers that follow were prepared for the Food Policy Symposium at the Eleventh International Congress of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, 20-25 August 1983. The concept of the symposium developed as a result of an exploratory oneday conference on food policy issues in December 1982 sponsored by the International Commission on Anthropology of Food (ICAF) and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Washington, D.C., USA. ICAF was attempting to promote food policy studies among anthropologists by setting up a multidisciplinary research group, while IFPRI is one of the most active world centres of research on food policy analysis. The exploratory conference brought together anthropologists, nutritionists, economists, and policy analysts to identify, discuss, and further build upon those research areas of mutual interest. Among the topics discussed, intra-household food distribution emerged as a focus for attention for the Vancouver symposium.

The symposium papers discuss aspects of intra-household food distribution in the context of food policy issues. Each of the contributors has been doing research on the topic from the viewpoint of his or her own speciality and has encountered relevant issues needing the expertise of other disciplines. Although past researchers have contributed greatly to a knowledge of the factors and processes influencing household behaviour, understanding of intra-household decision-making processes and how they influence household responses to government policies and other external changes is still very limited. The papers presented at the symposium make a contribution in this direction. They present a literature survey (Messer), a framework for following up policy effects (Kumar), an analytic approach to estimating the nutritional impact of food policies (Pinstrup-Andersen), and a group of empirical studies and analyses (Kennedy, Rizvi, and Katona-Apte). As a group, these papers take stock of current knowledge and identify multidisciplinary priorities for nutrition-related aspects of food policy. At least one additional paper in this series "Time Allocation Surveys: A Common Tool to Anthropologists, Economists, and Nutritionists," by A. J. Berio, will appear in the next issue of the Bulletin.

R.S. Khare
P. Pinstrup-Andersen

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