Contents - Previous - Next

This is the old United Nations University website. Visit the new site at

Book reviews and notices

Nutrition, aging, and health. Edited by Eleonore A. Young. Alan R. Liss, Inc., New York. 280 pages.

This is the ninth volume in the series "Contemporary Issues in Clinical Nutrition." The topics include the physiology of aging, nutritional requirements of the elderly, nutritional status of the elderly, and nutritional support of the elderly. In addition there are chapters on aging and the gastrointestinal tract, haematopoesis and immunocompetence, diabetes, calcium intake and bone health, mineral metabolism, and atherosclerosis. These who would like to know the status of current knowledge on nutrition and the elderly will find the book authoritative, well written, and current.

Patient problems in clinical nutrition: A manual. Mark L. Wahlqvist and Jitka S. Vobecky. John Libbey, London and Paris. 445 pages.

This manual was edited under the auspices of the IONS Committee on Nutrition Training in Medical Schools and the Nutrition Unit of WHO with the assistance of 59 collaborators in 14 countries. Its heart consists of 218 pages of clinical nutrition case studies from all parts of the world, with 8 pages of index to the case studies by symptom, nature of the deficiency, and geography. Each case is followed by a series of questions and in a later section a detailed discussion of the correct answers. The cases are well chosen and the answers concise but informative and an excellent adjunct to any training course in clinical nutrition or to self-study.

The section on resources lists nutrition texts and clinical nutrition journals, and contains separate food composition tables for fibre, amino acids, free sugars, the sugar content of commercially available breakfast cereals, the fatty acids composition of food fats, foods high in potassium, foods low in potassium, sodium values of some foods, purine content of foods, oxylate and phytate in foods, caffeine content of foods, acid content and pH of beverages, and food additives. There is also a 9-page table-giving the cholesterol and fatty acid contents of foods, 6 pages of information on recommended nutrient requirements and allowances, 15 pages of metabolic data, 19 pages of laboratory data, 10 pages of instructions for determining food intakes, and much other useful reference data. A comprehensive index to these and other tables is at the end of the volume.

The nutrition debate: Sorting out some answers. J. D. Gussow and P. R. Thomas. Bull Publishing Company, Palo Alto, Calif., USA. 411 pages.

The premise of this book is that nutrition is full of controversy and that it is useful to provide a book giving both sides of these controversies. The problem is that it does not distinguish between genuine scientific controversies and ones that are due to the failure-or the unwillingness of special interests, whether under industry influence or self-appointed consumer advocates-to accept scientific evidence. Since there is no editorial guidance as to which of the positions are consistent with sound nutritional knowledge and which are not, the book is only for experts or students with access to good nutritional guidance.

Food and health: Issues and directions. Edited by Mark L. Valquist, R. W. F. King, J. J. McNeil, and R. Sewell. John Libbey, London and Paris. 119 pages. 1 5.

This slender paperback is based on 25 presentations at a meeting in Australia in August 1986 under the auspices of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians and contains 25 contributed articles in four major sections: nutrition needs and eating patterns, food manufacture and supply, physiologial and medical aspects of food and health, and the causes and consequences of nutritional changes. The volume focuses entirely on Australian food, nutrition, and population data, but the third section, with seven contributed articles, has broad application.

Infant growth and nutrition. Foundation for the Advancement of the Knowledge of the Nutrition of Mothers and Children in Developing Countries. 169 pages.

This report is based on a workshop held at Arnhem, Netherlands, in May 1987 to receive and discuss the reports of research concerned with lactation and infant growth in China, the Netherlands, Kenya, India, the Philippines, Thailand, and Zaire. The report is available from the foundation, PO Box 20, 6710 BA, Ede, Netherlands.

Nutritional adaptation in man. Edited by Sir Kenneth Baxter and J. C. Waterlow. John Libbey, London and Paris, 1984. 242 pages.

This is the report of an international symposium held in the United Kingdom in April 1984. Such topics as growth retardation, genetic factors, long-term adapation to low energy intakes, social adjustments to chronic energy deficiency, adaptation in disease and recovery, weight homoeostasis, and mechanisms of adaptation to protein deficiency are covered authoritatively and with new insights. The final chapter, by G. H. Beaton, on the significance of adaptation for nutrient requirements and nutrition policy synthesizes the principle concepts of the symposium and provides further insights. A postscript by J. Waterlow provides a thoughtful and useful consideration of the conceptual problems of terminology and definitions related to nutritional adaptation. The book is recommended. -N.S.

Principles for the safety assessment of food additives and contaminants in food. Environmental Health Criteria, no. 70. World Health Organization, Geneva, 1987. 174 pages. lSBN 92-4-154270-5. SwF 14, US$8.40. Available in English; French edition in preparation.

This state-of-the-art report reviews the latest advances in methods for evaluating the toxicological and chemical characteristics of food additives and testing their safety.

Prepared by a 54-member task group at the request of the Joint FAD/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives, the book emphasizes methodological advances that have either confirmed the value of established principles for safety assessment or permitted the development of new procedures offering greater sensitivity and predictive value. The objective is to set out basic principles for conducting toxicological studies and preparing specifications for identitiy and purity that can be applied in a broad range of situations.

The opening sections outline basic criteria for testing and evaluation and describe the principles of chemical characterization involved in the development of identity and purity specifications. Principles of testing and evaluation are then described in detail, with guidelines on the most appropriate use of end-points, metabolic and pharmacokinetic studies, and human studies. Principles involved in establishing acceptable daily intakes are also considered. Other sections cover different principles for assessing substances consumed in small or large amounts and introduce statistical approaches important in the design and conduct of toxicological studies and the analysis of results. Reference, a glossary, index, and several annexes complete the report.

The book, which expertly interprets and synthesizes advances from several different disciplines, will serve as a useful reference for all toxicologists, nutritionists, food scientists, regulatory authorities, and industries interested in using the most sensitive and accurate principles for safety assessment.

International Rice Research Institute publications

IRRI annual report for 1985. 1986. 555 pages, 17.7 x 25.4 cm, paperback. US$38.30 plus postage (US$2 surface mail, USES airmail).

This is an in-depth annual report of IRRl's overall research progress presented on a problem-area basis rather than by scientific discipline. Major sections deal with genetic evaluation and utilization (problem-oriented plant breeding); control of diseases, insects, and weeds; irrigation and water management; soil and crop management; environment and its influence; constraints on rice yields; consequences of new technology; rice-based cropping systems; and machinery development.

Efficiency of nitrogen fertilizers on rice. 1987. 266 pages, 15 x 22.8 cm, paperback. US$11.80 plus postage (US$2 surface mail, US$7 airmail).

In 1984, co-operators in the International Network on Soil Fertility and Fertilizer Evaluation for Rice visited Australia, where much relevant research on fertilizer efficiency for rice was being conducted. With support from the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, the New South Wales Department of Agriculture, and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, a workshop was held 10-16 April 1985 to discuss recent research on fertilizer efficiency in rice production. This volume contains the papers presented at the workshop.

Physical measurement in flooded rice soils: The Japanese methodologies. 1987. 65 pages, 15 x 22.8 cm, paperback. US$4.30 plus postage (US$1 surface mail, US$4 airmail).

Worldwide demand for rice will increase by 3% annually for the next 15 years. The increased production must be met by growing rice on lands where water is not well controlled, or soils are less fertile, or there are physical constraints such as compacted soil layers. Improved methods of soil and water management for ricelands must be developed and adopted, both to increase food production and to avoid soil erosion and land degradation.

Participants at a 1985 workshop on "Physical Aspects of Soil Management in Rice-Based Cropping Systems" recommended strongly that the existing Japanese methodologies of soil-physical measurement in flooded rice soils, developed over years of careful research, be published in English. Ten authors from Japanese universities and the Japanese National Research Institute of Agricultural Engineering wrote and translated the 10 component chapters of this book that describe measuring methods relating to soil texture, structure, mechanics, and water.

IRRI highlights, 1986. 1987. 90 pages, 17.7 x 22.8 cm, paperback. US $ 13.30 plus postage (US $ 1 surface mail, US$4 airmail).

IRRI Highlights, 1986 focuses on IRRl's collaboration with developing-country agricultural research systems and with advanced research institutes and agencies in developed countries. The emphasis is on the productivity of partnerships, in both high and applied technology. IRRI has some 70 projects with advanced research centres around the world, co-ordinates global research networks and co-operatives, and collaborates in rice research with almost all developing nations that depend on rice as their basic food crop. At the basic-knowledge end of the scale, work focuses on genetic engineering. At the other end, research on utilizing organic sources of plant nutrients is a factor in rice-based farming systems.

Upland rice: A global perspective. P. C. Gupta and J. C. O'Toole. 1987. 364 pages, 15 x 22.8 cm, paperback. US$11.70 plus postage (US$2 surface mail, US$8 airmail).

Almost 20 million hectares of the world's rice land are planted to upland or dry-land rice. Yields are low, accounting for only 5% of world production. Modern technology has scarcely affected upland rice production.

Because research on upland rice has been limited, the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) recently requested all international centres with rice programmes to increase their upland rice activities and develop a global strategy for upland rice improvement. As a component of this strategy, IRRI initiated an Upland Rice Training Course. Dr. John C. O'Toole, former IRRI agronomist, was the course co-ordinator. He was assisted by Dr. Phool C. Gupta, on leave from G. B. Pant University in India.

Both scientists soon realized that scientific literature on upland rice was scarce and often difficult to obtain. Upland Rice: A Global Perspective is partly the result of their efforts to collect information on every facet of upland rice; their own extensive experience with the crop forms the remainder of the work.

Students and scientists alike will find the book a comprehensive digest of upland rice research and production.

Progress in rainfed lowland rice. 1987. 446 pages, 15 x 22.8 cm, paperback. US$13.70 plus postage (US$2 surface mail, US$8 airmail).

Rain-fed lowland rice occupies more than 40% of the rice area of South and South-East Asia. Despite its importance, progress in increasing its production has been slow, and many farmers are still using low-yielding varieties and management practices.

Drought, excess water, and poor soils are common constraints to production in rain-fed lowland areas. Therefore IRRI and various national programmes are placing special emphasis on improving the productivity of rice in such areas.

This book is the proceedings of the 1985 International Rice Research Conference, held at Bhubaneswar, Orissa, India, which focused on problems and potentials of rain-fed lowland rice, serving as a forum for a review of past progress and for formulating future collaborative work.

Publications of the International Agricultural Research and Development Centers: 1985 edition. 1985. 691 pages, 13 x 21 cm, paperback. In the Philippines, P 80.35 (includes surface-mail postage and handling); elsewhere, US$10.20 (includes airmail postage and handling).

The International Agricultural Research Centers (lARCs) focus modern agricultural research on the crops and livestock that provide 75% of the food for developing nations. The centres are major publishers of books, periodicals, slide sets, films, and other educational materials on agricultural science and technology for developing nations.

The third exhibition of publications of the lARCs was held at the 1985 Frankfurt Book Fair. It featured about 1,200 titles published by 13 centres supported by the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), 8 other lARCs, the Board on Science and Technology for International Development (BOSTID) of the US National Academy of Sciences, and the German Agency for Technical Cooperation (GTZ).

This 691-page catalogue, published by IRRI for distribution at the book fair, is the only compilation of the major publications of all lARCs, GTZ, and BOSTID. Included is a description of each publication, prices, and ordering instructions. A thorough index (162 pages) helps one locate all publications in particular fields (e.g. cytogenetics, insect resistance, maize).

The catalogue is a must for libraries and organizations with an interest in global agricultural improvement.

New format for the Food and Nutrition Bulletin

Beginning with the next issue, volume 10, number 1, the Food and Nutrition Bulletin will be printed in a new, smaller format which should be more convenient for the reader. The average total length of the contents of each issue will remain unchanged.

Contents - Previous - Next