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Alleviating hidden hunger: Approaches that work

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Alleviating hidden hunger: Approaches that work

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Abstract

Despite abundant global food supplies, widespread malnutrition persists in many developing countries. Micronutrient malnutrition is particularly damaging but it can, with relative ease, be eradicated. An overview is given on the factors being considered to alleviate the problem.

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... Different approaches have been adopted to combat the problem particularly of " hidden hunger " in Nigeria and most developing countries. One of such immediate approach is oral supplementation of micronutrients especially the global focal micronutrients Fe, Zn, I 2 and Vitamin A. Various organizations and individuals (ICN, 1992; FAO/WHO, 1998; Kennedy et al 2003) have upheld that, the most sustainable solutions are those that are likely to be maintained in the long-term. These would include food-based approaches like diet diversity, food fortification and biofortification. ...
... bal focal micronutrients Fe, Zn, I 2 and Vitamin A. Various organizations and individuals (ICN, 1992; FAO/WHO, 1998; Kennedy et al 2003) have upheld that, the most sustainable solutions are those that are likely to be maintained in the long-term. These would include food-based approaches like diet diversity, food fortification and biofortification. Kennedy et al (2003) further suggested that food fortification and biofortification could be the most cost effective of all public health interventions and thus within the economic reach of even the world " s poorest. The 1992 International Conference on Nutrition (ICN) suggested other approaches to include improved food availability, food preservation, res ...
... Globally extrapolations from the best available data suggest that 140 million preschool children and more than 7 million pregnant women suffer from Vitamin A deficiency every year (SCN, 2004). In countries where immunization programs are not widespread and vitamin A deficiency is common, millions of children die each year from complications of infectious diseases such as measles with 2.8 million showing frank signs of xerophthalmia (Kennedy et al, 2003) There is paucity of data on the RDAs of vitamin A for the Nigerian population. ...
Article
A thesis in the FACULTY OF MEDICAL SCIENCES Submitted to the School of Postgraduate Studies University of Jos, in fulfilment of the requirements for the award of the degree of DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY of the UNIVERSITY OF JOS. MAY, 2005. Three multimix complementary diets were prepared from local foodstuffs i.e. maize (Zea mays), acha grain (Digitaria exilis) rice (Sativa oryza), sorghum (Sorgum bicolar), millet (Pennisatum typhoides), groundnut (Arachis hypogea), bambaranut (V-oadzeia subterranea), sesame (Sesamun indicum), carrots (Daucas carota), crayfish (Macrobrachuim Sp), garden egg (Solanum incanum), palm oil (Elaeis guinensis) and table salt (NaCl). The formulated diets were subjected to biochemical analysis-along with a commonly used proprietary infant cereal (Nestle Cerelac) as control. Standard chemical methods were used to determine the proximate nutrient composition, some vitamins and antinutritional factors. Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometric and Ion Chromatograhic techniques were used to determine mineral composition while Automated Amino Acid Analyzer was used to identify and quantify amino acids. The formulations and the control were fed to rats under the same conditions. Physical, biochemical and haematological parameters of the rats fed were used to asses the suitability of these formulated diets as a possible substitute for the proprietary infant foods. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to establish any significant difference in the analytical data for formulated and control diets. The assessment results show that the formulated diets are comparable nutritionally to Nestle Cerelac-supporting animal growth without any significant organ impairment as indicated in the liver and kidney function tests. The diets were well accepted as shown by the amounts consumed by the rats. Results of molar ratios of some minerals and antinutritional factors in the compounded diets suggest that the antinutrients will not pose any serious problem in the usage of the complementary diets. The cost of producing the formulated diets is about N50-N100 cheaper than Cerelac. The study has therefore, revealed that with proper selection of local foodstuff, it is possible to prepare nutritious complementary diets that would be acceptable, readily available, affordable and nutritionally adequate. Dissemination of the findings at scientific and community levels is very desirable.
... In order to provide adequate amount of important nutrients (iodine, vitamin A, iron and zinc) which are necessities for child development and growth in complementary diets, micronutrient fortification and supplementation needs to be adopted. According to FAO/WHO (1998) and Kennedy et al. (2003), the inclusion of food-based approaches like diversification of diets, fortification and biofortification of foods could serve as a solution to the above-mentioned case. Kennedy et al. (2003) further made a suggestion as regards food fortification and biofortification. ...
... According to FAO/WHO (1998) and Kennedy et al. (2003), the inclusion of food-based approaches like diversification of diets, fortification and biofortification of foods could serve as a solution to the above-mentioned case. Kennedy et al. (2003) further made a suggestion as regards food fortification and biofortification. The two could serve as a less costly alternative means of addressing and intervening on all public health concerns and also provide food for low-income earners. ...
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Complementary food was produced from blends of hungry rice (A), pigeon pea (P) and soursop leaves (S). The raw materials were washed with portable water, dried at room temperature, milled with hammer mill, fermented for 24 hours at 28 ± 2 °C (28 ± 2 °C), oven-dried at 50 °C for 12 hours, remilled, sieved to 1 mm pore size and packaged in polyethylene bags for further analysis. The samples were in the ratio of 70:30:0 (sample APS), 65:30:5 (sample APS1), 60:30:10 (sample APS2) and 55:30:15 (sample APS3). Toxicity test for lethal dose (LD50) was carried out on the soursop leaves. Bioassay was carried out with male albino rats for 28 days including acclimatization period of 7 days. Feed intake and weight gain of experimental rats were recorded daily and weekly. Blood serum was collected before and after feeding trials for analyzing bioavailability of the selected micronutrients. The data were subjected to one-way analysis of variance. Means were separated using the Duncan’s multiple range test and significance was accepted at probability level of 0.05 %. The toxicity test (LD50) indicated safety of soursop leaf as an infusion (oral administration) at lower doses of 10-1000 mg/kg body weight of rats. The bioassay revealed that food intake was significantly (p < 0.05) different among the samples in the first, second and third week. Rats that ate normal rat chow had the highest food intake while the rats that ate APS3 had the lowest food intake. Weight gain was highest in rats that ate rat chow while it was lowest in the rat that ate APS3. Bioavailability of selected micronutrient revealed that calcium content had the highest bioavailability in rats fed with rat chow and lowest in AP. Sample of APS1 had the highest iron bioavailability (47.83 %) among the fortified samples and the rat chow. Zinc had the highest bioavailability (52.86 %) in APS1. The work revealed that selected vitamins were most available in APS2 and the selected minerals were most available in sample APS1.
... There have been major improvements in the micronutrient status of women postWorld War II in the United States. A variety of policies and programs have contributed to this improvement, including US fortification policy, which has had significant positive impacts on vitamin A, iron, and the B vitamins (13). The increasing incomes of the US population over the past 50 y combined with an agricultural policy that has resulted in lower food prices has narrowed the gap in dietary patterns between low income and other income groups (13). ...
... A variety of policies and programs have contributed to this improvement, including US fortification policy, which has had significant positive impacts on vitamin A, iron, and the B vitamins (13). The increasing incomes of the US population over the past 50 y combined with an agricultural policy that has resulted in lower food prices has narrowed the gap in dietary patterns between low income and other income groups (13). Federal programs such as Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) have also contributed to improved micronutrient status in women (14). ...
Article
This paper reviews the process of developing the Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) and provides a synopsis of the micronutrient status of women worldwide. At a 1993 symposium held by the Food and Nutrition Board (FNB) of the Institute of Medicine (IOM), it was decided that the Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) would be replaced by the DRIs, which would address several issues that the RDAs did not, including chronic disease risk reduction, upper levels for nutrients where toxicity data existed, and the possible health benefits of some food components that did not meet the traditional definition of a nutrient. Another important distinction is that because the DRIs are comprised of 4 reference values –the Estimated Average Requirement (EAR), RDA, Adequate Intake (AI), and a tolerable Upper Level (UL) –and not a single reference value like the previous RDAs, they could be used to differentiate planning from diagnosis or assessment. The latest DRIs and nutrient intakes are shown for iron, zinc, calcium, Vitamin A and folate status in women in the United States. Data on the micronutrient status of women globally are much more limited. Summary statistics on iron deficiency anemia, night blindness, and risk of zinc deficiency are summarized.
... The danger of hidden hunger, "caused by eating food that is cheap and filling, but deficient in essential vitamins and micronutrients," 264 is always around the corner in dictatorial regimes, as they cause restrictions to the circulation of 'educational wisdom' related to food quality. 265 The ICESCR confirms that States "shall take . . . measures which are needed to improve methods of production, conservation and distribution of food by making full use of technical and scientific knowledge[, as for] everyone to . . . ...
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The framework known as 'Responsibility to Protect' ("R2P") has afforded legal endorsement and codification to the doctrine that States hold responsibility under public international law for the protection of their own citizens and of those who reside within their prescriptive jurisdiction. This holds true in peacetime and wartime alike, and it is shaped by an understanding of 'security' which increasingly calls for comprehensive and multifaceted assessments (human security) to replace the traditional ones centred on military protection. Within the human-security paradigm, the right to food stands at the forefront of a reconceptualization which proceeds beyond the quantity of available (or accessible) food, up to scrutinise its nutritional value more pertinently, and human capabilities in context. 'Hidden hunger'-the chronic insufficiency of nutrients intake that victimises hundreds of millions of children worldwide-is currently dismayingly unaddressed in legal scholarship, despite
... This is because plant-based diets found in developing countries are considered to have low iron bioavailability containing almost exclusively non-haeme iron (Vijayalakshmi, et al., 2003) [24] . The 1992 International Conference on Nutrition pinpointed food-based diet diversity strategies as the most sustainable means of alleviating micronutrient deficiencies (Eileen, Venkatesh and Venkatesh, 2003). It has been reported that varied diets are a key reason why most of the world's population is free from micronutrient malnutrition (www. ...
... This is because plant-based diets found in developing countries are considered to have low iron bioavailability containing almost exclusively non-haeme iron (Vijayalakshmi, et al., 2003) [24] . The 1992 International Conference on Nutrition pinpointed food-based diet diversity strategies as the most sustainable means of alleviating micronutrient deficiencies (Eileen, Venkatesh and Venkatesh, 2003). It has been reported that varied diets are a key reason why most of the world's population is free from micronutrient malnutrition (www. ...
... This is because plant-based diets found in developing countries are considered to have low iron bioavailability containing almost exclusively non-haeme iron (Vijayalakshmi, et al., 2003) [24] . The 1992 International Conference on Nutrition pinpointed food-based diet diversity strategies as the most sustainable means of alleviating micronutrient deficiencies (Eileen, Venkatesh and Venkatesh, 2003). It has been reported that varied diets are a key reason why most of the world's population is free from micronutrient malnutrition (www. ...
Research
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The study evaluated four (4) recipes developed from staple foods (rice, yam, and plantain) substituted with Mung bean (Vigna radiata) in south east Nigeria. The principles of food-to-food enrichment was applied to generate culturally acceptable staple-based diets. The diets include Mung bean-rice jollof (MRJ), Mung bean-yam porridge (MYP), Mung bean-unripe plantain porridge (MUP) and Mung bean-ripe plantain porridge (MRP). Traditional methods of food preparation were adopted with slight modification (addition of tomato puree and cent leaf). Nutrient compositions and sensory properties of the diets were determined following the standard methods. The sensory qualities of the diets were determined using 30 untrained taste panels. It was found that all the porridge recipes with 70% Mung bean substitution, 75 g tomato puree and 20g cent leaf ranked highest in taste (7.0-8.9) and general acceptability (7.1-8.2), though not significant (p<0.05). Nutrient composition of the substituted Mung bean diets ranged from; 12.01%-18.34% (protein), 6.31mg-7.73mg (vitamin C), 1.75 mg-2.17 mg (iron) and 0.45 mg-0.63mg (zinc). Substituted Mung bean diets were found to be containing 18 amino acids (per 100g protein). The energy content of Mung bean diets falls within the 376-480 Kcal/100g recommended levels young children. Mung bean conveniently substituted yam and plantain (ripe and unripe) in traditional porridge meal and in jollof rice.
... Micronutrient malnutrition affects health, but also impacts socioeconomic development, learning abilities and productivity [48]. Food-based strategies including diet diversity (promoting foods that are naturally rich in micronutrients) is one of the most sustainable solutions [49]. To reduce the prevalence of hidden hunger and the triple burden of malnutrition, multiple sectors, such as agriculture, health, nutrition and the environment, should be involved, aiming to improve people's diets in a sustainable manner [1]. ...
Article
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The projected increase in global population will demand a major increase in global food production. There is a need for more biomass from the ocean as future food and feed, preferentially from lower trophic levels. In this study, we estimated the mesopelagic biomass in three Norwegian fjords. We analyzed the nutrient composition in six of the most abundant mesopelagic species and evaluated their potential contribution to food and feed security. The six species make up a large part of the mesopelagic biomass in deep Norwegian fjords. Several of the analyzed mesopelagic species, especially the fish species Benthosema glaciale and Maurolicus muelleri, were nutrient dense, containing a high level of vitamin A1, calcium, selenium, iodine, eicopentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and cetoleic acid. We were able to show that mesopelagic species, whose genus or family are found to be widespread and numerous around the globe, are nutrient dense sources of micronutrients and marine-based ingredients and may contribute significantly to global food and feed security.
... Among the many micronutrient deficiencies, vitamin A, iron and iodine deficiencies are the prime concern in public health programs. Often referred to as "hidden hunger", micronutrient malnutrition has numerous adverse health consequences, such as impaired learning ability, continued and sustained loss of productivity, permanent mental disability, blindness, depressed immune system function and increased infant and maternal mortality [2,3,4]. Moreover, micronutrient malnutrition hinders socio-economic development and contributes to a vicious cycle of underdevelopment [4]. ...
Article
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Lentil ( Lens culinaris Medic.) is a pulse crop that belongs to the family Leguminosae . Lentils are rich in proteins, have 18 of the 20 amino acids including all 8 essential amino acids and provide a number of essential minerals and vitamins. Thus, lentils occupy an important place in the human diet, especially in developing countries, as a rich source of protein, vitamins and minerals. Although in many developing countries in Asia rice contributes significantly to human daily energy and nutritional requirements, its amino acid profile shows that rice lacks some essential amino acids. Therefore, given their rich composition of amino acids, lentils could act as an ideal supplement for rice-based diets. Although all red lentils are imported, they are the most widely consumed pulse among Sri Lankans. Red lentil consumption levels are significantly greater in the estate sector where the prevalence of under nutrition is high. Thus, t his review was undertaken to understand the potential role of lentils in the Sri Lankan diet and how lentils can potentially be utilized to meet the nutritional needs of Sri Lankans. The study was based on an extensive literature review and information obtained thro ugh personal interviews with key participants in the red lentil industry of Sri Lanka. It was evident that red lentils are a rich source of nutrients, especially micro-nutrients, but their bioavailability is poor due to the presence of multiple anti-nutritive factors such as protease inhibitors, phenolic compounds and phytates. Although bioavailability of nutrients can be enhanced by changing food processing techniques, fortification and bio-fortification, lentil cooking patterns in Sri Lanka pose difficulties in adopting changed food processing techniques and fortification. Thus, bio-fortification would be the most viable option for enhancing nutrient availability in lentils. Since Sri Lanka does not produce lentils, such initiatives may have to be undertaken in exportin g countries or in collaboration with international agricultural research centres. Any strategic investments in breeding new lentil varieties with high bioavailability would provide exporting countries a unique competitive edge in export markets. Such improvements would meet the nutritional needs, not only of Sri Lankans, but also of mil lions other Asian consumers who face similar nutritional challenges.
... Micronutrient malnutrition (hidden hunger) is particularly damaging (Eileen and Venkatesh, 2003), but can be eradicated or minimized through diet diversity strategy which is sustainable on the long term basis. Currently, three micronutrients (vitamin A, iron, and iodine) with the impact of zinc deficiency on growth, diarrhoea, and other health related issues have captured nutritionists' attention as being of public health concern (Underwood, 1999). ...
Article
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Micronutrient deficiencies remain a public health challenge globally, especially among developing countries of the world. Spices constitute an important part of daily diets of many populations but their nutritional roles are yet to be fully investigated. Micronutrient potentials of seven indigenous spices in Nigeria (Allium Ascalonicum, Piper guneensis, Aframomum melegueta, Zingiber officinale, Ocimum basilicum, Allium sativum, and Eugenia caryophyllata) were evaluated using standard methods of AOAC and atomic absorption spectrophotometry. The results revealed that 100g edible portion of the spices contained between 15.5 – 91.1g moisture, 0.29 – 1.77g ash, 7.00 – 750.00mg calcium, 74.00 – 261.00mg phosphorus, 98.1 – 356.5µg β-carotene and 7.30 – 38.30mg ascorbic acid. O basilicum, P. guineensis and A. ascalonicum were very high in calcium content while Z. officinale, O. basilicum and A. melegueta were high in phosphorus and can be good sources of these minerals. All the spices were poor in iron and zinc, and might not make significant contribution to intake of these minerals. The spices can be good sources of β-carotene and ascorbic acids which are antioxidants. 100g edible portion of the spices can contribute between 0.7 – 75% calcium, 9.8 –35.7% β-carotene, and 12.1 – 63.8% ascorbic acid to % RDAs of consumers, hence their consumption should be encouraged.
... The addition of folic acid to enriched cereals and grains has reduced neural tube birth defects (47). There have also been major improvements in micro nutrient intakes in developing countries as a result of food fortification (48). ...
Article
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The goal of the Smart Choices Program (SCP) is to provide a simple front-of-the-package icon system to direct consumers to smarter food choices in the supermarket, which will eventually lead to more balanced diets and to more beneficial foods as food manufacturers renovate products to meet the nutrition criteria for carrying the icon. The SCP was developed by a coalition of scientists and nutrition educators, experts with experience with dietary guidelines, public health organizations, and food manufacturers in response to consumer confusion over multiple front-of-the-package systems based on different criteria. Representatives from different government organizations acted as observers. The process of developing the program was facilitated by the nonprofit Keystone Center, an organization that develops consensus solutions to complex health and social policy changes. The nutrition criteria for receiving the SCP icon are specific for product category by indicating "smarter" products within that category. A calorie indicator noting calories per serving and servings per package accompanies the SCP icon to remind consumers that calories do count, even for smarter food choices. For a product to qualify, it first has to be below the threshold for "nutrients to limit" and then (in most cases) it must be above the threshold for one or more nutrients or food groups to encourage. The criteria are based on the 2005 Dietary Guidelines and other consensus science and are transparent and available on the SCP website. This article describes the nutrition criteria and rationales for their selection.
Thesis
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BACKGROUND: Chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease are sharply on the rise. The interplay of certain pathophysiological mechanisms, namely, free radical stress and inflammation being the major two, may underly and account for the development of those diseases. Numerous studies have linked (clinical) deficiencies in several micronutrients to a host of chronic health disorders, presumably by exerting direct and indirect effects on those mechanisms. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this work is to explore whether there is sufficient scientific evidence suggesting that a discrete, long-term micronutrient deficiency – exemplified by vitamins C, D and E – subtly mediates those pathophysiologic mechanisms underlying chronic disease. If so, preventing, mitigating or correcting micronutritional deficiencies (or disparities) may favourably alter the course or outcome of chronic disease, even if underlying medical conditions may not be cured. The term “subclinical micronutrient malnutrition” refers to deficiency or disparity states that do not (yet) express itself by clinically manifest signs or symptoms of disease. METHODOLOGY: PUBMED was searched for scientific articles, with an emphasis on reviews, linking chronic cardiovascular disease (heart disease) with micronutrient malnutrition. Published material between 1999 and 2009 has been exemplarily selected in order to provide an overview on the evidence and impact of micronutrient malnutrition (for the vitamins C, D and E) on heart diesease in vivo, with particular focus on the underlying pathologic mechanisms “free radical stress” and “chronic inflammation”. RESULTS: Substantial evidence reveals an unexpectedly high prevalence of low micronutrient status as a result of low intake, metabolic impairments etc. Prevalence of subclinical micronutrient malnutrition reaches from 33 to 70% for vitamin C, from 45 to 97% for vitamin D and from around 70 to nearly 100% for vitamin E. Epidemiological, observational and empirical data suggest an inverse relationship between multiple (subclinical) micronutrient deficiencies and the development of chronic disease. Findings of intervention studies though remaining controversial are encouraging, showing favorable effects in altering oxidative stress and inflammation by reducing corresponding biomarkers. CONCLUSION: Notwithstanding this work‟s non-empirical nature limiting the inferences that can be drawn, its findings suggest that subclinical micronutrient malnutrition may be an underrated yet critical factor in the pathogenesis of chronic disorders. Subclinical micronutrient malnutrition, in particular, may act as one predisposing or mediating risk factor in the onset of disease or the magnitude of disease progression. Inconsistent findings possibly result, in part, from inadequate study designs. Well-designed intervention trials based on reliable biomarkers are strongly needed to confirm the presumed effects in alleviating free radical and inflammatory stress. Above all, further investigations are warranted to detect and evaluate subclinical micronutrient malnutrition in yet asymptomatic individuals as part of a comprehensive prevention and risk assessment tool.
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BACKGROUND: Subliminal oxidative stress and systemic inflammation, putatively mediated/modulated by long-term nutrimetabolic imbalance, are known pathophysiologic mechanisms in chronic disease development. Their early detection may enable timely intervention to prevent onset, favorably alter course or mitigate outcome of chronic disorders. Contemporary healthcare framed in a biomedical reductionist health-disease dualism so far has largely disregarded predisease and malnutrition phenotypes, perhaps by reason of paradigmatic reluctance and technological limitations. Primarily focused on clinical disease, conventional circulating biomarkers unable to capture the complexity of multiple actors, targets and levels of biological organization, thus, may fail to yield actionable results. OBJECTIVE: This work aims to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the nutritional phenotype‟s post-genomic subset (nutritional transcriptome, proteome, and metabolome) in illuminating molecular signatures indicating early homeostatic perturbations of chronic disease. The term “nutritional phenotype” denotes “a defined and integrated set of genetic, proteomic, metabolomic, functional, and behavioral factors that, when measured, form the basis for assessment of human nutritional status. [It] integrates the effects of diet on disease/wellness and is the quantitative indication of the paths by which genes and environment exert their effects on health (Zeisel et al, J Nutr 2005 Jul, 135(7):1613-6).” METHODOLOGY: A PUBMED literature survey has been carried out to retrieve published material (reviews and original research) between 1999 and 2010 linking post-genomic technologies to the early detection of molecular redox and inflammation states. FINDINGS: In general, post-genomics provides insight into biopathologic mechanisms and regulatory networks; challenges may largely arise from experiments (eg, study design, (pre-)analytics, tissue availability, protocols), biology (eg, intersubject variability, marginal dietary ad-hoc effects) and technology (eg, innate limitations, low dietary signal-to-noise ratio, inter-assay/platform/laboratory variability, standards, systems, infrastructure, laboratory equipment). Beyond this, each technology naturally features specific pros and cons (transcriptomics: eg, illuminating functional relationships vs. limited capacity to reliably predict the ultimate phenotype; proteomics: eg, identifying/quantifying protein abundance, function, activity, interactions etc. vs. complexity due to protein diversity, dynamics, localization etc.; metabolomics: eg, assessing net metabolic effects vs. comprehending genome-microbiome crosstalk). In a nutshell, although nutrigenomic profiling studies targeting aberrant redox/inflammation states are scarce, preliminary evidence based on various biofluids, cell types, model systems and disorders furnish proof of its capacity and enormous potential in deciphering unique molecular signatures. CONCLUSION: Well-designed (integrative) nutrigenomic profiling studies plus challenge tests may enable assessment of homeostatic robustness as well as detection of early onset and magnitude of physiologic derangements in redox and inflammation related networks. Further studies employing nutritional phenotype (subsets) are warranted to early assess nutritional, metabolic and health status of yet asymptomatic individuals as part of a comprehensive prevention, risk assessment and health promotion program.
Chapter
Micronutrient deficiencies are among the most prevalent health concerns in the world today. High prevalence of micronutrient malnutrition in some specific nutrients such as vitamin A, iron, iodine, and zinc are major public health issues in developed and developing countries. Thus, these four nutrients are common fortificants in a global view. Food fortification is considered a cost-effective, long-term population health strategy to battle the public health issues related to malnutrition and specific micronutrient(s) malnutrition. Fortification policies and practices have some similarities and differences across developed and developing countries and depend mainly on five key factors: (1) severity of public health need; (2) food industry sector; (3) level of awareness and knowledge; (4) political situation; and (5) consumption patterns. An appropriate food vehicle is one which is widely consumed and in adequate amounts by targeted populations. The most common food vehicles are staples including wheat flour, rice, salt, sugar, oil, and margarine. Monitoring systems with the cooperation of government bodies are needed to implement successful fortification programs. © Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013. All rights reserved.
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Engaging the interest of Western citizens in the complex food connections that shape theirs’ and others’ personal wellbeing around issues such as food security and access is challenging. This article is critical of the food marketplace as the site for informing consumer behaviour and argues instead for arts-based participatory activities to support the performance of ecological citizens in non-commercial spaces. Following the ongoing methodological and conceptual fascination with performance, matter and practice in cultural food studies, we outline what the ecological citizen, formed through food’s agentive potential, does and could do. This is an ecological citizen, defined not in its traditional relation to the state but rather to the world of humans and non-humans whose lives are materially interconnected through nourishment. The article draws on the theories of Berlant, Latour, Bennett and Massumi. Our methodology is a collaborative arts-led research project that explored and juxtaposed diverse food practices with artist Paul Hurley, researchers, community partners, volunteers and participants in Bristol, UK. It centred on a 10-day exhibition where visitors were exposed to a series of interactive explorations with and about food. Our experience leads us to outline two steps for enacting ecological citizenship. The first step is to facilitate sensory experiences that enable the agential qualities of foodstuffs to shape knowledge making. The second is to create a space where people can perform, or relate differently, in unusual manners to food. Through participating in the project and visiting the exhibition, people were invited to respond not only as ‘ethical consumers’ but also as ‘ecological citizens’. This participatory approach to research can contribute to understandings of human-world entanglements.
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+++ Open Access: https://rdcu.be/bd4Sy +++ Malnutrition—in the form of insufficient energy intakes—affects millions of people worldwide and the negative impact of this kind of hunger is well acknowledged, not least by agronomists trying to increase yields to ensure a sufficient supply of food. This review focuses on another, more particular and “hidden” form of malnutrition, namely mineral malnutrition. It illustrates the burden of disease that is caused by mineral deficiencies and the social and economic consequences they bring about. Mineral malnutrition has a considerable negative impact on individual well-being, social welfare and economic productivity. Agricultural scientists should keep the nutritional qualities of food in mind and—next to optimizing the agricultural properties of crops that are paramount for their adoption by farmers—in particular try to increase the micronutrient content in major staple crops as one way to address vitamin and mineral malnutrition in humans; especially plant breeding approaches promise to be very cost-effective. KeywordsHumans-Micronutrient malnutrition-Mineral deficiencies-Burden of disease-Social and economic costs-Biofortification
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