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Books received

Antioxidants in nutrition, health, and disease. John M. C. Gutteridge and Barry Halliwell. Oxford University Press, New York, 1995. (ISBN 0-198-54902-4) 143 pages, hardback. US$28.95.

This short text describes in a simple way the basic science behind free radicals, antioxidants, and their involvement in human nutrition, health, and disease for scientists, physicians, medical students, nurses, and nutritionists. It describes current thinking about free radicals and the role of antioxidants, and in most cases gives the authors' conclusions. The majority of nutritional epidemiologists would agree with them. The lack of specific references for most statements is disconcerting, especially when the text deals with highly controversial issues, but it would be neither short nor simple if they were included. For those interested in simplified summaries, without documenting references, of the biological role of antioxidants, antioxidant vitamins and nutrients, oxidative stress, and free radicals and antioxidants in ageing and disease, this small book will meet their need. A table on the effects of excessive iron is limited to some consequences of exposure to high oxygen concentrations.

The epidemiological transition: Policy and planning implications for developing countries. Edited by James N. Griddle and Samuel H. Preston. Committee on Population, National Research Council, National Academy Press, Washington, D.C.,1993 (ISBN 0-30904839-7) 271 pages, paperback. US$42.00.

The first two chapters of this book describe the striking shifts in population structure of most developing countries over the past several decades, and the shifts in mortality by cause that have been responsible. The third chapter is particularly important because it summarizes in a comprehensive manner the rapidly increasing knowledge of the effects of nutrition and health during childhood on adult morbidity and mortality. The next chapter utilizes this kind of information to develop predictive models for morbidity and mortality during adulthood in developing countries. The remaining six chapters deal with various aspects of policy formation, health sector planning, and programme development to assist developing countries to improve health outcomes.

Evaluation of certain veterinary drug residues in food. Forty-Third Report of the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives. Technical report series, no. 855. World Health Organization, Geneva, 1995. (ISBN 92-4-1208554) 59 pages, paperback. Available in English; French and Spanish editions in preparation. SwF 12.-/US $10.80; developing countries: SwF 8.40.

This book presents the conclusions of an expert committee commissioned to evaluate the safety of residues of selected veterinary drugs used in food-producing animals, to establish acceptable daily intakes for humans, and to recommend maximum residue limits. On the basis of a rigorous review of all available safety and residue data, the committee established international standards intended to promote food safety and facilitate the harmonization of international trade in animal products.

Integrated management of insects in storage products. Edited by Bhadriraju Subramanyam and David W. Hagstrum. Marcel Dekker, New York, 1995. (ISBN 08247-9522-9) 440 pages, hardback. US$165.00.

Insect pests cause large losses of stored food supplies in developing countries. Combating them by pesticides alone is costly, hazardous to health, and increasingly ineffective because of insect resistance. Integrated pest management by improving environmental storage conditions can eliminate the use of all, or nearly all, chemical insecticides. This clearly written and comprehensive book will be useful to a wide variety of scientists and policy makers who are concerned with the causes, consequences, and prevention of storage losses due to insects.

Population and food in the early twenty-first century: Meeting future food demand of an increasing population. Edited by Nurul Islam. International Food Policy Research Institute, Washington, D.C., 1995. (ISBN 0-89629-331-9) 239 pages, paperback. Single copies are available free of charge from IFPRI, 1200 Seventeenth St., NW, Washington, DC 20036-3006, USA.

An adequate food supply at affordable prices for future populations is a crucial element in a strategy designed to alleviate poverty and accelerate growth. The round table on which this publication is based examines projections of food supply and demand prospects not only for the world as a whole, but also for different groups of countries in both developed and developing regions, with particular attention to eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union, and China because of the policy and institutional changes under way in these countries. The round table agreed that the overall food supply will be sufficient to meet demand for at least another decade, but that regional problems may occur in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. It emphasizes the uncertainty that continues to surround the possibilities of technological progress in food production as well as the environmental consequences of agricultural intensification. The decline in the support of investment in agricultural research by the public sector, both nationally and internationally, is shown to be a serious mistake. Policy makers in developing countries will find much of value in this report.

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