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The impact of PROGRESA on food consumption: International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) Discussion Paper 150 (May 2003).
Food and Nutrition Bulletin. 2003; 24(4):379-380.Since 1997, PROGRESA has provided cash transfers linked to children's enrollment and regular school attendance and to health clinic attendance. The program also includes in-kind health benefits; nutritional supplements for children up to age five, and pregnant and lactating women; and instructional meetings on health and nutrition issues. In 2000, PROGRESA reached about 40 percent of all rural families and about 11 percent of all Mexican families. This paper explores whether PROGRESA improves the diet of poor rural Mexicans--a major objective of the program. As such, this evaluation provides insights into whether interventions designed to alleviate poverty also succeed in reducing hunger. (excerpt)
Mississauga, Canada, World Vision Canada, . , 36 p.This activity and resources guide was produced for use with people aged 14-18 years old, although in many cases it can be adapted for use with adults and younger adolescents. Canadians need a better understanding of the developing world, the root causes of poverty, and the principles of lasting development. This guide will help teachers, educators, students, and youth group leaders in Canada go beyond the typical media images of hunger and poverty to see more clearly their connections to global issues of poverty, environmental degradation, and human justice. It is hoped that participating in the guide's activities will impart in participants a sense of global community, shared responsibility, and awareness of opportunities to act. Interactive, participatory exercises are one of the best ways to build empathy and awareness. Accordingly, this guide has a variety of challenging, participatory activities which can be adapted to particular settings.
In: Gender, health, and sustainable development: perspectives from Asia and the Caribbean. Proceedings of workshops held in Singapore, 23-26 January 1995 and in Bridgetown, Barbados, 6-9 December 1994, edited by Janet Hatcher Roberts, Jennifer Kitts, and Lori Jones Arsenault. Ottawa, Canada, International Development Research Centre [IDRC], 1995 Aug. 285-90.This paper presents an overview of some of the issues pertaining to nutrition in the Caribbean region: food production, food availability, food consumption, poverty, culture, and nutrition-related health problems. It is concluded that sustainable development should assure survival and the ability to be healthy. Research and programs are lacking in the attention given to the management and control of obesity and chronic diseases. Prevention of chronic diseases requires the adoption of healthy life styles and life skills in all population groups regardless of age, sex, or social status. Policy directions and the national allocation of resources are necessary for developing and implementing health education programs. Program strategies must involve multidisciplinary disciplines and personnel. The International Conference on Nutrition recommends further activity on improving household food security, preventing and managing infectious diseases, caring for the deprived and nutritionally vulnerable, promoting healthy diets and life styles, protecting consumers through improved food quality, preventing micronutrient deficiencies, researching nutrition situations, and including nutrition objectives within development plans. Little research, other than a small study in Jamaica, is available on the health impact of women's agricultural work in the Caribbean, particularly on pesticide and agricultural chemical exposure. Caribbean countries rely heavily on food imports to meet basic food needs. Currently there is adequate food availability at the national level. Poverty is a major cause of undernutrition and women in female-headed households are a particularly vulnerable group. Food consumption data in the Caribbean are inadequate for a variety of reasons. Indigenous food that is nutritionally of high quality is rejected as "poor people's food." The leading causes of death in the Caribbean include anemia, obesity, hypertension, cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease, cancers, and diabetes.
In: Demography of aging, edited by Linda G. Martin and Samuel H. Preston. Washington, D.C., National Academy Press, 1994. 102-45.Panel data from the HRS survey of health and retirement and the AHEAD survey on health and assets were expected to fill in the gaps in knowledge about the welfare of the aged. A remaining unfulfilled data need was identified as consumption data. The past research emphasis has been on income changes rather than on wealth changes in savings and dissavings. Needs assessment has been lacking. Little research was available on the economic needs of the aged and their effect on household budgets, consumption needs, and wealth decumulation. Wealth transfers also have not been well researched. There was little to research about how expectations of wealth transfers affected the decisions of the young and human capital accumulation. Comparable international data would facilitate examination of the interaction between public and private transfers. This article reviewed the relevant literature on the following issues: diversity in the economic status of the elderly, economic trends and future sustainability, the role of intergenerational transfers, and data needs, particularly of forecasting the economic status of the aged. The summary review of the income of the aged found that incomes were similar to the non-aged but showed a wider range. Poverty among the aged was lower than in the general population but higher compared to other industrialized countries. The American population aged 65 years and older had the highest income in the world, but age 75 years revealed the highest proportion of low-income women living alone. The literature on wealth was sparse compared to the literature on income. Little was known about the links between asset holdings and health status and health care expenses or between housing wealth and health status. What data were available covered a period of economic boom between 1983 and 1989.
In: We speak for ourselves. Population and development, [compiled by] Panos Institute. [Washington, D.C.], Panos Institute, 1994. 3-5.There is a development solution that assures men and woman of being truly represented, prepared to define their own needs, and capable of fulfilling their needs. It involves investing in human capital through education, improved health services, and empowerment. When the poor, women, ethnic minorities, and other disadvantaged groups are able to make informed economic and political choices, there will be fertility reductions and better use of natural resources. Sustainable development involves a partnership between the North and the South that includes new patterns of production, consumption, waste disposal, and human reproduction. The solution is simultaneous and coordinated action to deal with improving living standards, protecting and renewing natural resources, and reducing population growth. Northern development solutions frequently recognize the need to reduce poverty, however, policies have encouraged private development for higher profit margins and control of market shares, rather than poverty alleviation. The environment in the South is being jeopardized by the movement of hazardous and polluting industries into developing countries and the dumping of Northern solid and untreated factory waste in the South. The example was given of maquila factories in Mexico that make profits out of cheap labor, tax incentives and lax environmental and industrial safety measures, while, encouraging migration and not contributing to infrastructure development. The environment is being destroyed by both poverty and affluence, and unchecked population growth. The development model as reflected in the Mexican example equates development with economic growth, or a market solution to solve social problems without regard for the views and concerns of those who desire the benefits of development. Global competition through development is encouraged by the advantage of cheap labor. The assumption is that income will contribute to the satisfaction of needs. The problem is that needs are determined by market forces, or a limited number of multinational conglomerates. Press reports on the 1992 Earth Summit noticed that population growth was ignored, even though it is a major contributor to environmental degradation, but women's groups in the South countered that attention to population growth ignores other important factors and makes women pawns.
In: Elephants in the Volkswagen: facing the tough questions about our overcrowded country, [by] Lindsey Grant. New York, New York, W.H. Freeman, 1992. 1-17.People in the US are beginning to realize that we are destroying the environment. Population size, per capita consumption, and technology fuel these environmental problems. The nation uses technological fixes and pleas for conservation to address these problems, but ignores population and consumption levels. We tend to have a bigger the better attitude toward consumption and this attitude and subsequent environmental degradation reduce the size of the population the environment can sustain. We must face the issue between personal freedom (a very strong and deeply rooted US sentiment) and social responsibility. Environmentalists have abandoned the maximum population approach and have adopted the concept of sustainability. Sustainability proponents believe that population size should not become so great that it destroys the carrying capacity of the Earth and its ability to support future generations. The US and other developed nations (e.g., the Netherlands) need a population policy. They also need to develop that considers humans as only a part of a functioning ecosystem and identifies an optimum population size, which allows us to achieve our national and social goals within that ecosystem. Macroeconomics and the scientific method are unable to serve as models to determine optimum population and, in fact, hinder the inquiry. We do not have the luxury to wait indefinitely for the systematic intellectual framework needed to study optimum population. Population is linked to air pollution, acid rain, global warming, unemployment, and ghettos. A population policy which limits immigration, has a national goal of a 2-child maximum family size, and shapes social policies to help realize this goal would help the US achieve a lower population size. In addition to the attitude that bigger is better other attitudes which lend themselves to considerable resistance to such a policy include those which revolve around self-interest, the injunction to be fruitful and multiply, and fear of coercion.
[Urban-rural differences in food intake of poor families in Guatemala] Diferencias urbano-rurales en la ingesta de alimentos de familias pobres de Guatemala.
ARCHIVOS LATINOAMERICANOS DE NUTRICION. 1991 Sep; 41(3):327-35.Differences in diet and nutrient consumption among impoverished families in urban and rural areas of Guatemala were analyzed using data from 2 surveys conducted in 1987. A sample of 200 families in the marginal community of El Milagros in Guatemala City inhabited largely by rural in-migrants and a sample of 900 families of agricultural wage workers from 195 rural communities in the northwestern altiplano participated in the nutritional study. Poverty, poor health conditions, and high rates in malnutrition among the children characterized both samples. The method of 24-hour recall in single interviews was used in both areas. The urban families were visited in July-August 1987 and the rural families in October-November. Reported consumption of foods of animal origin, milk products, eggs, and meats was over twice as high in urban areas as measured by average consumption and by the percentage of families reporting consumption Maize consumption was very high in rural but not urban areas. 97% of rural families prepared their own tortillas, tamales, and atole, and only 5% bought them prepared. In the marginal urban area by contrast, 31% of families prepared their own maize and 82% bought prepared maize derivatives primarily tortillas and tamales. Consumption of beans was higher in urban areas, largely because their cultivation is impossible in the high altitude communities of the altiplano. The average adult caloric consumption of 3194.3 in rural areas exceeded the 2637.5 of urban areas. But in both cases calorie consumption was below recommended levels. The urban total represented 86% of the daily recommendation of 3050 calories for a moderately active adult, while the rural total was equivalent to 91% of the daily recommendation of 3500 for very active adults. The average daily protein intake of 82.9 g in urban and 87.8 g in rural areas exceed the daily adult recommendation of 68 g. Almost 70% of caloric intake among rural adults came from maize, compared to 27% in urban areas. Wheat bread, beans, and sugar together accounted for 41% of total calories in urban areas. Almost 70% of protein in rural areas was contributed by maize and beans, while in urban areas over 30% was from foods of animal origin, 25% from beans, and 21% from maize. Despite their lower caloric consumption, urban families enjoyed more diversified diets and higher levels of calcium and vitamin A consumption. But vitamin A consumption met only 62% of the daily requirement in urban areas and 43% in rural areas, while iron consumption met less than 80% of the daily need in either area.
DEVELOPMENT FORUM. 1992 May-Jun; 20(3):12.Contrary to recent press reports, the issue of population growth has taken center stage in the negotiations preceding the Rio Earth Summit. While the press has reported that population issues have not been addressed, the North and South have disputed the related issues of population growth and consumption, and supporters and opponents of family planning have clashed over that issue. There is little question that the issue of population falls squarely into the summit's agenda. Northern countries have embraced the idea that sustainable development will require developing countries to make slow growth an urgent priority. Currently, 90% of world population growth is taking place in the poorer countries, and this growth is affecting the environment. But while developing countries have come to accept population as part of the environmental equation, they also argue that 80% of the world's resources are being consumed by only 20% of its people. Few in the North have acknowledged the impact of their wasteful consumption and production patterns on the environment. During the negotiation phase, the US delegation declared that US lifestyles were not negotiable. Another population issue that has attracted debate is family planning. Some delegations have objected to language calling for the universal access to family planning services or, as is the case with the Holy See delegation, to specific references to contraception. Also concerning population, representatives from nongovernmental organizations have raised related issues such as poverty and women's rights.
In: Preserving the global environment: the challenge of shared leadership, edited by Jessica T. Mathews. New York, New York/London, England, W. W. Norton, 1991. 39-77.The thesis that human population growth will eventually destroy the equilibrium of the world ecosystem, because environmental strain is a nonlinear effect of the linear growth, is embellished with discussions of technology and resulting pollution, population dynamics, birth and death rates, effects of expanded education, causes of urbanization, time constraints and destabilizing effects of partial development and the debt crisis. It is suggested that the terms renewable and nonrenewable resources are paradoxical, since the nonrenewable resoureces such as minerals will always exist, while renewable ecosystems and species are limited. The competitive economy actually accelerates destruction of biological resoureces because it overvalues rare species when they have crossed the equilibrium threshold and are in decline. Technological outputs are proportional to population numbers: therefore adverse effects of population should be considered in billions, not percent increase even though it is declining. Even the United Nations does not have predictions of the effects of added billions, taking into account improved survival and decreased infant mortality. Rapid urbanization of developing countries and their debt crisis have resulted from political necessity from the point of view of governments in power, rather than mere demographics. Recommendations are suggested for U.S. policy based on these points such as enlightened political leadership, foreign aid, and scientific investment with the health of the world ecosystem in mind rather than spectacle and local political ideology.
[Brazil: agricultural modernisation and food production restructuring in the international crisis] Bresil: modernisation agricole et restructuration alimentaire dans la crise internationale.
Tiers-Monde. 1985 Oct-Dec; 26(104):879-98.This study examines the complex relationship of capital accumulation, external debt, and food supply in Brazil, a country which has simultaneously increased its food exports and its unsatisfied demand for food imports in the context of the world economic crisis. In Brazil, the substitution of export cash crops for subsistence crops has been accompanied by a profound but incomplete restructuring of the basic food supply and model of consumption, a restructuring made possible by declining real cost of the new foods. The gap between the extremely rapid evolution of consumption, especially in the urban areas, and the possibilities of concomitant transformation of production is the characteristic feature of the change occuring in Brazil. The current diet of the developed countries evolved over a relatively long period and was based on the declining real cost of basic foodstuffs made possible by increasing labor productivity. Between 1800-1900, the real cost of a kilo of bread was halved, while that of meat remained stable. In France and the US respectively, 80 and 90% of the principal cereals are consumed by animals, while in developing countries most grains are directly consumed. Numerous indices suggest that Brazil has begun to differentiate its food regime in the direction of decreased consumption of cereals, tubers, and legumes, and increased consumption of animal products, with grains increasingly consumed indirectly by animals. Since the early 1970s, Brazil has developed a powerful processed food industry which supports intensive breeding of poultry and, to a lesser extent, pork and milk cattle. However, low income population groups have been forced to reduce their consumption of traditional foodstuffs, whose real prices have undergone relative increases, without achieving a satisfactory level of consumption of the new products. Brazilian food problems result not from insufficient production of food but from the choice of a strongly internationalist model of development in the mid-1960s which required insertion into the world economy, notably through a search for new export sectors. The agricultural sector was assigned 3 functions: producing food as cheaply as possible, increasing the proportion of exportable crops, and substituting some of the foods imported. Brazil evolved in 2 decades from a classic agroexporter to a more complex structure reflecting the semiindustrialized state of the economy. The share of processed agricultural goods increased accordingly. The foods produced for the internal market have been changing at the same time that a new hierarchy of exportable products has evolved. Agricultural policy involved recourse to market mechanisms and cheap credit focused on the south and southeastern regions, large and medium sized producers, and a few products including soy, coffee, sugar cane, and cotton. Just 3% of credits went to the traditional foodstuffs beans and manioc. The most serious consequence of the internationalization of the agricultural economy has been a dangerous increase in the vulnerability of low income groups to world food price fluctuations.
Economic Development and Cultural Change. 1982 Apr; 30(3):649-70.This essay argues that the drive toward a middle class style of life in developing countries has resulted over the past 30-odd years of conscious development effort in a series of negative consequences in diverse spheres: persistence of inequality, expansion of government, neglect of agriculture, and urban bias of education and research. The class context of development, the role of the middle class, the characteristics and components of the middle class life style, and the American contribution to its development are assessed, after which the methodology and results of measuring the poor and the middle class in the US and elsewhere are considered. Measurement of the middle class can be attempted through ownership of articles such as automobiles, through energy consumption, or through income: one estimate is that the global middle class increased from 200 million in 1950 to 800 million by 1980 through the addition of Japan, Europe, and some increase in the 3rd world. The nature of middle class work and the consequences of the preference for middle class work on the part of national elites for local development efforts is described, along with the related theme of the conflict between alleviation of poverty and development of an indigenous middle class in 3rd world countries. China and Brazil are viewed as the 2 extremes in this trade-off. The incentives to massive urban migration that occur in conjunction with development policies favoring the middle class are outlined. Finally, it is argued that reaching for middle class status is an explanatory rather than a policy variable. The social mechanisms that cause the spread of the middle class to take precedence over the alleviation of poverty need to be more closely examined.
Temas de Poblacion. 1983 Jul; 9(16):4-5.In the mid-1970s, some 120 million Latin Americans were unable to satisfy their most basic material needs. 55 million of them were in extreme indigency, unable to satisfy their minimal food needs even by using their entire incomes for that purpose. The rapid rate of demographic growth in Latin America influences the growth of the poor strata, who in absolute and relative terms show the highest rates of population growth. Despite heterogeneity in the manifestations of poverty, the poor have certain traits in common: employment outside the modern sector, with low productivity and little hope of generating stable incomes, low consumption capability, and lack of political power. 1 of the great problems of economic development in Latin America is the exclusion of the poorest strata from employment in better paid jobs. The high rate of fertility and rapid population growth provoke a negative interaction between population and development, in which the poorest strata reproduce most rapidly, becoming even poorer. A program of family planning within a development effort providing employment and income is needed to mitigate the problem, and no avenue or effort of implementation should be neglected on ideological grounds. Between 1960-70, the share of the poorest 20% of the population declined from 3.1% to 2.5% of the toal income of the region, while that of the poorest 1/2 increased slightly from 13.4% to 13.9%. In 1970 the poorest 20% had a per capita income of about US $70/year. It has been estimated that the proportion of the poor in Latin America declined from 51% in 1960 to 40% in 1970 and 33% at present, but the absolute number of persons affected continues to increase.