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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.
Report of the ESCAP/UNDP Expert Group Meeting on Population, Environment and Sustainable Development: 13-18 May 1991, Jomtien, Thailand.
Bangkok, Thailand, United Nations, Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific [ESCAP], 1991. iv, 41 p. (Asian Population Studies Series No. 106)The 1991 meeting of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific considered the following topics: the interrelationships between population and natural resources, between population and the environment and poverty, and between population growth and consumption patterns, technological changes and sustainable development; the social aspects of the population-environment nexus (the effect of social norms and cultural practices); public awareness and community participation in population and environmental issues; and integration of population, environment, and development policies. The organization of the meeting is indicated. Recommendations were made. The papers on land, water, and air were devoted to a potential analytical model and the nature of the interlocking relationship between population, environment, and development. Dynamic balance was critical. 1 paper was presented on population growth and distribution, agricultural production and rural poverty; the practice of a simpler life style was the future challenge of the world. Several papers focused on urbanization trends and distribution and urban management policies. Only 1 paper discussed rural-urban income and consumption inequality and the consequences; some evidence suggests that increased income and equity is associated with improved resource management. Carrying capacity was an issue. The technological change paper reported that current technology contributed to overproduction and overconsumption and was environmentally unfriendly. The social norms paper referred to economic conditions that turned people away from sound environmental, cultural norms and practices. A concept paper emphasized women's contribution to humanism which goes beyond feminism; another presented an analytical summary of problems. 2 papers on public awareness pointed out the failures and the Indonesian experience with media. 1 paper provided a perspective on policy and 2 on the methodology of integration. The recommendations provided broad goals and specific objectives, a holistic and conceptual framework for research, information support, policies, resources for integration, and implementation arrangements. All activities must be guided by 1) unity of mankind, 2) harmony between population and natural resources, and 3) improvement in the human condition.
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.