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News and notes
International congress of nutrition
Training materials for nutrition field workers
Green revolution game
Teaching aids at low cost
New and recent books
International congress of nutrition
The plans for the XIIIth International Congress of Nutrition - to be held in Brighton, UK, 19-23 August 1985 - are progressing well. The aim of the congress is to identify the most pressing problems facing nutritionists today and to give prominence to the most recent advances in research directed towards solving these problems. The programme will highlight current research of major significance, presenting up-to-date results of topical interest in both human and animal nutrition.
Information about the arrangements for the congress can be obtained from Conference Clearway Ltd., Conference House, 9 Pavilion Parade, Brighton, Sussex BN2 1RA, UK.
Plenary sessions, keynote lectures, and posters will be at the Brighton Conference Centre. Scientific sessions will be held at the University of Sussex. Dr. M. 1. Gurr, chairman of the Scientific Programme Committee, has provided the following schedule and list of topics for the lectures and scientific sessions.
Monday, 19 August
a.m. Plenary session: welcome address, IUNS Presidential address, keynote lecture (Sir Kenneth Blaxter, Congress President) Posters, committees, informal groups
p.m. Scientific sessions: symposia, colloquia, workshops
Tuesday-Thursday, 20-22 August
a.m. Keynote lecture
Posters, committees, informal groups
p.m. Scientific sessions: symposia, colloquia, workshops
Friday, 23 August
a.m. Scientific sessions: symposia, colloquia, workshops
pm. Keynote lecture Closing session
Scientific constraints on food production
Effect of development programmes on the nutrition of populations
Nutrition and the brain
Social responsibility of the food industry
Nutrition and fertility
Animal' in the service of nutrition
Nutrition in primary health care
Boyd-Orr Lecture: Work of the Brandt Commission
Nutritional requirements of animals and man
Nutrition and protein metabolism
Regulation of energy balance in animals and man
Nutrition in pregnancy and lactation
Food toxicology and nutrition
Food processing, food quality, and nutrition: the role of the food industry
Nutritional implications of diarrhoea
Metabolic adaptations to low intakes
Biological assessment of nutrient availability Interactions of nutrients in the diet
Gut microflora and intestinal physiology
Physiological role of dietary fibre Contributions of UN agencies to nutrition
Undernutrition and physical and mental function
Communicating and promoting nutrition
Nutrition, infection, and immunity
Current research on specific aspects of protein metabolism
White adipose tissue
Brown adipose tissue
Nutrition of the preterm infant
Essential fatty acids
Safety evaluation of new foods
Processing techniques and nutrient composition
Nutrition education: north and south
Iron in nutrition
Zinc in nutrition
Vitamin A in nutrition
Folates in nutrition
Micronutrient deficiencies and disease in the developing world
Seasonal factors in malnutrition
Adequacy and timing of breast-feeding
Nutrition and risk factors for morbidity and mortality in the Third World
Developments in enteral and parenteral nutrition
Nutrition and endurance performance
Nutritional management of the severely ill patient
The intestinal microflora and dietary fibre
iodine metabolism and thyroid hormones
Nutrition and cardiovascular disease
Limitations of measurements of nutritional status
Assessment of food intake
Common neonatal problems of babies and piglets
Nutrition and cancer
Effect of nutrition policy on agriculture
Animal production in semi-arid areas
Workshops will be organized on a wide variety of topics submitted by congress participants. Suggestions will be welcomed by Dr. Gurr; they may be sent to him in care of Conference Clearway Ltd. (address above).
All free communications will be presented in poster-session format. Abstracts should be submitted to Dr. Gurr. Those accepted will be allotted poster space and will be published in the proceedings of the congress.
Collaboration with ICSU
The International Union of Nutritional Sciences (IUNS) is represented on several bodies of the International Council of Scientific Unions (ICSU) - the Inter-Union Commission on the Application of Science to Agriculture, Forestry, and Aquaculture (CASAFA); the Committee on Data for Science and Technology (CODATA); the Committee on the Teaching of Science (CTS); and the Scientific Committee on Genetic Experimentation (COGENE) - and on the associated International Council for Laboratory Animal Science (ICLAS). In 1982 and 1983 there were developments concerning nutrition in CODATA, CTS, and ICLAS.
Links have been established between CODATA and IUNS Committee Vl/4, on Optimal Utilization of Available Feed Resources, by the appointment of H. Haendler, the IUNS representative on CODATA, to membership on Committee Vl/4 and by extending the charge of the committee to include broadening "knowledge about available feedstuffs" and encouraging "efforts to determine, collect, store and disseminate numerical and factual data concerning their composition, nutritive value and use." Haendler presented a paper on "The Accessibility of Nutritional Data - Necessity and Realization" (IUNS publication C46) at the Eighth International CODATA Conference, held in October 1982 at Jachranka, Poland,
Links on the composition of feedstuffs have also been established between the International Network of Feed Information Centres (INFIC) and IUNS by the direct involvement of C.C. Balch (Co-ordinator of IUNS Commission Vl) and H. Haendler in the work of INFIC. A paper by Balch on "The International Network of Feed Information Centres: Past, Present and Future," prepared for an INFIC meeting and symposium in Sydney, Australia, in August 1983, contains discussion on the extension of the INFIC system to human foods as well as animal feed and the involvement of both IUNS and CODATA in this work.
A paper on "Nutrition and the Quality of Life" (IUNS publication C38), written by the IUNS representative on CTS, C. E. West, with C. den Hartog as part of the CTS preparation of material on the quality of life, was published in Biochemical Education, 3: 115- 117 ( 1982 ).
IUNS is co-operating with CTS by helping in the planning of the part of the 1985 Bangalore Conference on Science and Technology Education and the Quality of Life concerned with science education, food, and agriculture. The conference will review and evaluated teaching and learning materials and identify methods for their use at all levels of education, including teacher training and adult education, which can promote development. It will also formulate practical and cooperative strategies to enable science and technology education to contribute to development at national and international levels.
The conference, as well as the preparatory seminars, will be concerned with a number of specific topics, all of which relate to both education and national development. It is expected that each topic will be prepared by interdisciplinary teams consisting of the appropriate scientific-union members of CTS and other organizations. The topics are;
- food and agriculture,
- energy resources,
- use of land, water, and mineral resources,
- industry and technology, environment,
- information technology and informatics,
- history, philosophy, and ethics.
Further information about CTS may be obtained from the Secretary, Mr. John Lewis, Malvern College, Malvern, Worcestershire, WR14 3DF, UK. (From ICSU Newsletter No. 13.)
The IUNS representative on ICLAS, Marie E. Coates, was elected as Union representative to the governing board of ICLAS.
A report of a workshop on Laboratory Animal Nutrition held during the Twelfth International Congress of Nutrition in 1981 in San Diego, California, USA, to discuses problems that arise during the feeding of animals on long-term toxicity or carcinogenicity tests was published in ICLAS Bulletins No. 50 and 51, and a strong recommendation that the Thirteenth International Congress of Nutrition should include a contribution sponsored by ICLAS has been conveyed to the Chairman of the Congress Programmes Committee.
At the workshop, discussion centred on diets for long-term toxicity and on oncogenicity tests, and considerable concern was expressed because authors of papers relating to such tests rarely describe the diets they feed to their test animals. There is a growing body of evidence to show that the components of the diet can have a marked influence on the toxicity or carcinogenicity of drugs and food additives. Thus, direct comparisons of experimental results in different laboratories are not valid unless the compositions of the diets of the test animals are precisely known. Dr. Coates was asked to draw the attention of editors of journals on toxicity to the importance of interactions between diet and drug toxicity and to suggest that contributors be asked to supply details of the diets fed to their experimental animals. Descriptions such as "commercial stock diet" are inadequate. Ideally, the complete formula should be given, but, if this cannot be ascertained, at least the names and addresses of manufacturers, with as much analytical data as they can provide, should be recorded.
Co-operation with IUFoST
Co-operation with the International Union of Food Science and Technology (lUFoST) continues. The IUNS Treasurer and Secretary General, respectively, attended the 1982 and 1983 meetings of the lUFoST Executive Committee, and lUFoST was represented at the 1982 and 1983 council meetings of IUNS.
Collaboration with UN agencies
IUNS has special consultative status with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF}, and the United Nations University (UNU) It is an associate member of the Council for International Organizations of Medical Sciences (CIOMS) and has close links with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco). IUNS is regularly invited to send observers to meetings of the FAO council and conference and the WHO executive board, and was represented in 1982 and 1983 by F. Fidanza (Italy) and J.C. Comogyi and E. DeMaeyer (Switzerland), respectively. IUNS is usually represented at FAD/WHO Codex Alimentarius Commission meetings on Foods for Special Dietary Uses. IUNS has liaison representatives with WHO regional offices, UNICEF headquarters, and the UNICEF-NGO Sub-committee on the Disabled Child and the UN Centre for Social Development and Humanitarian Affairs. The immediate past President of IUNS, N.S. Scrimshaw is a member of the Sub-committee on Nutrition of the UN Administrative Committee on Co-ordination (ACC); and the President of IUNS, R. Buzina, is a member of the Advisory Group on Nutrition, which provides independent expert advice to the Sub-committee on Nutrition. Co-operation among the four agencies most concerned with nutrition FAO, WHO, UNICEF, and the UNU - is assisted by this institutional arrangement. The UNU continues to assist work connected with IUNS committees by means of grants for approved projects. IUNS was represented on the UN-NGO World Assembly on Aging held in Vienna, 26 July-6 August 1982, and at the CIOMS twenty-sixth Round Table Conference on Health for All held in Ibadan, Nigeria, 23-26 November 1982.
The following are extracts from the summary of a document on "Infant and Young Child Nutrition" prepared for the thirty-sixth World Health Assembly, held in May 1983, and sent to the Secretariat by Dr. DeMaeyer: "This report to the Health Assembly is presented in three parts: Part I - a summary of the present global nutritional situation with particular reference to infants and young children - is based on an initial reading of the results of national surveillance and monitoring activities in over 50 countries. Part 11 has been prepared . . . to report . . . on steps taken to assess the changes that occur with time and under various climatic conditions in the quality, nutritional value and safety of products specifically intended for infant and young child feeding. Part III . . . summarises information provided by Member States on action being taken to give effect to the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes.... The Health Assembly's attention will be drawn, in future biennial progress reports on infant and young child feeding, to any development which may have a bearing on the International Code." There was discussion on nutritional problems relating to infants and young children, and the subject is likely to be reviewed again.
The WHO Seventh General Programme of Work, covering the period 1984-1989, contains the following targets:
This programme's activities will aim at fostering national and international action so that by 1989:
1. all countries with significant problems of undernutrition will be implementing programmes for improving the nutritional status of mothers and children so as to allow healthy growth and development of children and adolescents, increased resistance to infection, and reduced risks for childbearing women;
2. all countries with significant levels of specific nutritional deficiencies will have undertaken programmes aimed at controlling them;
3. all countries with significant problems of nutritional excess and imbalance will have embarked on programmes to minimise these health hazards.
Training materials for nutrition field workers
The Department of Human Nutrition at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine is producing a series of teaching and training materials on basic and applied nutrition. Originally commissioned by the Save the Children Fund (UK), they are now available for sale to a wider audience.
The material was initially designed to assist health personnel to prepare themselves for field work with an aid agency. However, people working in social and agricultural development as well as in health find themselves confronted by malnutrition in all its complexity. They are expected to design, run, and evaluate programmes that will have some impact on nutrition problems. The material has therefore been broadened to meet the needs of the whole range of health and development workers. It covers three main areas:
- an introduction to basic concepts of nutrition and malnutrition in the socio-economic as well as the biological context,
- the theory and practice of collecting information for planning and managing projects,
- programmes and strategies at the community level - alternatives and possibilities.
The material is in English and is produced in two forms: tape/slide sets, and written primers. The tape/slide sets can be used with any standard cassette tape player and slide projector; the tape incorporates a small audible beep that signals the time to change the slides, and also carries a signal that will automatically change slides on appropriate equipment. The packages can be used either by individuals studying alone at their own pace or by groups who want material for discussion.
For information on costs and shipping for either or both forms of material, write to: Human Nutrition Department, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Keppel Street (Gower Street), London WC1 E 7HT, UK.
Green revolution game
"The Green Revolution" is a sophisticated simulation of the role of agrarian change in a traditional community of small farmers in India. It is of proven value for training professionals in agricultural extension, project appraisal, and rural development planning, and for students of nutrition, sociology, geography, and economics.
Participants take the roles of farmers living in a traditional village, experiencing the uncertainties and choices facing such people. Within realistic constraints, they can experiment with a variety of strategies and roles. The main aim of the game is to bring alive to participants what life is like for a small farmers belonging to a dynamic society in a developing country. The simulation demonstrates clearly the complexity of decision-making even in a simplified model of an agricultural society and helps sensitize professionals to the impact of agrarian change from the small farmer's viewpoint.
Each participant is provided with models of land, people, and seed to represent a family's farm and its resources. Each farmer makes his or her own decisions about the pattern of farming and level of investment in traditional wells and the new high-yielding rice, fertilizer, and pesticide. Faced with an uncertain social and physical environment, the participants go through seasonal cycles of production, feeding the family, sale or storage of any surplus crops, and purchasing and applying new resources. Playing the game is memorable and provocative and can also often be a bitter and moving experience. Participants experience the constraints under which the small farmer operates. Some discover that a farmer can get very rich; others realize that short-term survival can outweigh long-term strategy.
"The Green Revolution" is based on data from India, but the principles involved and the ideas generated have a much wider application. It is invaluable for:
- professionals and volunteers going to work in development,
- managers of development projects,
- students of development studies,
- specialists who need to put their particular expertise into a broader - context
The game comes complete and ready to play. It can be played by between 12 and 24 participants, and needs a seminar-sized room, - with movable furniture. It needs at least four hours - preferably six - to play. It can be played in a simpler version and does not require the use of a computer. The price is £195 per kit, including VAT, postage, packing, and insurance; US$395, including air freight and insurance; or US$350 including surface mail and insurance. Cheques should to be made payable to Marginal Context Ltd. and sent to Marginal Context Ltd., c/o Department of Human Nutrition, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Keppel Street (Gower Street), London WC1E 7HT, UK. Brochures with more detailed descriptions and order forms are available from the Department of Human Nutrition at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
Teaching aids at low cost
"Breast-feeding," a set of 24 slides with commentary on tape and in printed text, by William Cutting, Patricia Harman, and Felicity Savage King, is available from Teaching Aids at Low Cost (TALC), in co-operation with the Institute of Child Health, London.
During the last decade, more has been written about breast-feeding than at any time previously. The dangers of bottle-feeding have been widely advertised and a marketing code developed by WHO and UNICEF approved to curb promotion of bottle-feeding by baby-food companies. Our knowledge of the physiology, psychology, and sociology of lactation throughout the animal kingdom has advanced, and the epidemiology of infant feeding has become almost academically respectable as a subject for investigation. Yet to date, practical teaching on how to breast-feed, and above all on how health workers can help mothers to breast-feed successfully, has received little attention. There are few relevant teaching materials suitable for health workers either in the West or in developing countries. (One exception is the manual Breast-feeding in Practice, mentioned below.)
The slide set "Breast-feeding" is a valuable contribution to this neglected aspect of a topical subject. It attempts to collect in one place the main facts on this subject that a health worker needs. It explains exactly why breast-feeding is superior, what are the common reasons for its failure, and what must be done to overcome these problems. it is directed principally at midwives, but it is also eminently suitable for medical students and doctors. This is important, because although midwives are the health workers most often in a position to help a struggling mother, doctors have an enormous influence. Midwives may not be able to change things such as maternity ward practices without the compliance and support of the medical profession. Medical school teaching on breast-feeding is woefully deficient, and male doctors in particular find the topic embarrassing, though for younger men this is as much because of their ignorance as because of the exclusively feminine nature of the subject A colourful and attractive set of slides that give all the main facts in an interesting visual way in one or two lectures can help teachers to refresh their students' interest and concern.
Of the 24 slides in the set, three summarize the history of breast-feeding and the dangers of bottle-feeding. Five slides explain the physiology of lactation, including the neurohormonal reflexes, the composition of breast milk, the anatomy of the breast, the mechanics of suckling, and the benefits of early mother-infant contact. Seven slides, subtitled "How to Breast-feed," outline the practices that lead to success, including nipple preparation, feeding position, demand feeding, and the support of the mother by her family and by other women in the community. The next five slides discuss some of the common problems that health workers encounter among their patients. These problems include engorgement, sore nipples, "refusal" to breast-feed, and a mother's conviction that she does not have enough milk. The slides show how to express milk and how to decide whether or not the infant is getting enough milk by following his growth curve. The final slides mention the importance of the mother's own nutrition and summarize the series.
For information on prices and ordering, write to: TALC, Box 49, St. Albans, Herts. AL1 4AX, UK.
Also available from TALC is the book Breast-feeding in Practice: A Manual for Health Workers, by E. Helsing and F. S. King (Oxford University Press, 1982), and a wide range of other slide sets and low-cost textbooks.
The Asian Vegetable Research and Development Center (AVRDC) celebrated its tenth anniversary 19 November 1983 in a ceremony in Taiwan attended by agricultural experts from a dozen countries. AVRDC has the world's largest collection of soybean germ plasm, numbering over 10,000 accessions. To date, AVRDC high-yielding soybeans have been released to farmers in Honduras, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Taiwan, and Zimbabwe.
As a result of the heat-tolerant, disease-resistant varieties developed and selected at AVRDC, 16 tropical countries are now growing a successful tomato in the hot, rainy season, when yields were previously so low that most farmers did not even attempt to grow the crop. Genetic lines of mungbean, a high-protein grain legume consumed throughout South and South-East Asia, have been identified that are resistant to major diseases and can produce more than two tons per hectare - more than four times the yield of non-improved varieties. These selections have been released to farmers in six Asian countries, as well as in Australia, Fiji, Peru, and Zimbabwe.
The Journal of Nutrition Education has published a special theme issue (June 1984) devoted exclusively to past, present, and future uses of computers and computer software in nutrition education. The issue provides practical information for nutritionists, dieticians, health educators, teachers, food service managers, and researchers with varying levels of computer knowledge. It covers guidelines for selecting software, criteria for evaluating computerized nutrient analysis programmes and data bases, tips for designing individual software programmes, and reviews of more than 50 software programmes, including nutrient and exercise analysis, games, simulations, and forecasting and inventory control. Continuing education credits have been applied for through the American Dietetic Association
Price: US$12, plus 75 cents per order for shipping and handling. Send check or money order, in US dollars only, to: Journal of Nutrition Education, Suite 900, 1736 Franklin St., Oakland, Calif. 94612, USA. All orders must be pre-paid.
Nutrition News, a bi-monthly newsletter published by the National Institute of Nutrition, Tarnaka, Hyderabad - 500 007, India, contains a current topic, research notes, workshop descriptions, and new publication announcements. It is succinct and useful.
New and recent books
A Comparison of Growth Standards: Similarities between NCHS, Harvard, Denver, and Privileged African Children and Differences with Kenyan Rural Children, by Lani S. Stephenson, Michael C. Latham, and Ad Jensen, Cornell International Nutrition Series, no. 12. This new monograph describes the physical growth of rural Kenyan children living in two coffee-growing villages and provides comparisons of the various available growth-reference standards. Order from Dr. Michael C. Latham, 127 Savage Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y. 14853, USA; US$3, including shipping and handling.
Nutrition and Food Policy in Nigeria, edited by Tola Atinmo and Laolu Akinyele (National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru, Jos, Nigeria, 1983; 447 pp.) This book is based on the proceedings of the National Conference on Food and Nutrition Policy for Nigeria, University of Ibadan, 27-31 May 1979. Emphasis was on the integration of nutrition planning into an overall national development programme.
Manual for Social Surveys on Food Habits and Consumption in Developing Countries, by Adel P. den Hartog and Wija A. van Staveren (Pudoc, PO Box 4, 6700 AA Wageningen, Netherlands, 1983; 122 pp.; price, f.10). This manual on food habits and food consumption is addressed to people with either practical or academic training in nutrition who are involved in various types of food and nutrition programmes, such as nutrition education, supplementary feeding for vulnerable groups, school feeding, or applied nutrition programmes. It provides a theoretical background on food habits and practical information on conducting small surveys to collect information on food habits and food consumption.
Selection of Technology for Food Processing in Developing Countries, by Domien H. Bruinsma, Wouter W. Witsenburg, and Willem Würdemann (Pudoc, PO Box 4, 6700 AA Wageningen, Netherlands, 1983; 212 pp.; price, f. 15). This book is based on lectures and other material prepared for two recent courses on rural food technology, organized by the International Course in Food Science and Nutrition (ICFSN) in Wageningen, Netherlands.
Executing Food and Nutrition Programmes in East, Central and Southern Africa: Experience and Practice, edited by F. van den Haar, proceedings of a workshop held in Harare, Zimbabwe, 22 Aug.-2 Sept. 1983; report 2 from the Netherlands International Nutrition Institute, International Course in Food Science and Nutrition, Lawickse Allee 11, 6701 AN Wageningen, Netherlands.
Sabottam Pitho: A Home-Processed Weaning Food for Nepal, by Miriam E. Krantz, Sabitri Pahari, and Susan Colgate, Home and Village Prepared Weaning Foods Project (HOVIPREP) Monograph Series, no. 1. Available free of charge from Mr. Rod Crowley, Room 4300, Auditors Building, USDA/OICD, 14th St. and Independence Ave., SW, Washington, D.C. 20250, USA.
Guidelines for Curriculum Content in Food and Nutrition Planning and Management, proceedings of the Second Food and Nutrition Planning Workshop, 8-13 Nov. 1982, Jakarta, Indonesia (University of the Philippines at Los Baños, 1984; 222 pp.). Copies can be obtained free of charge, as long as the supply lasts, from the Director, UPLB-FNP, College, Laguna 3720, Philippines.
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