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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.
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.
[Unpublished] 1991. , 15 p.The relationship among children, women, and the environment is approached within the framework of UNICEF. The impact of environmental degradation on children is greater and has longterm effects. An approach to the problem of environmental degradation is to focus on the well being of children and their mothers. Activities to improve well being involve household food security (techniques for improved and sustained crop yields and better food processing and storage), water and sanitation activities, household fuel security (agroforestry and fuel efficient stoves), and promotion and/or facilitation of breast feeding. The aforementioned "doable" activities alleviate the workload and contribute to better health for children. Other "doable" activities which contribute to well-being are formal and informal educational and advocacy, reduction of child mortality, and other health improvements (oral rehydration, immunization). The strategy is to provide interventions to improve conditions at the household and community levels along with social mobilization and encouragement of longterm self-reliance. The assumption is that high impact, low cost techniques with achievable actions can stimulate other local and national initiatives and empower communities. Underlying causes must be considered: poverty, consumption patterns. Discussion focuses on the underlying causes and conditions that need improvement and are "doable". Sustainability is augmented by social mobilization and advocacy. It is underscored that those without means for providing the basic necessities of life cannot be placed in the position of directly caring for the environment, because survival is at stake. Mobilization of governments, national and international organizations, and nongovernmental organizations and communities is needed. Solutions are complex so that even partial "doable" solutions demand immediate attention. Production techniques must be environmentally sustainable and sound for all countries. Integrated health and family planning are necessary for lowering birth and death rates and reducing pressure on limited resources. The goals must be perceived by local populations as a benefit because of a better standard.
In: Population, technology, and lifestyle: the transition to sustainability, edited by Robert Goodland, Herman E. Daly, Salah El Serafy. Washington, D.C., Island Press, 1992. 3-22.Population multiplied by per capita resource consumption denotes the total flow (throughput) of resources from the ecosystem to the economic subsystem, then return to the ecosystem as waste. The global ecosystem's source and dump uses have a finite capacity to support the economic subsystem, so throughput growth does not lead to sustainability. The major limit to throughput growth is fossil energy use. The human economy now uses around 40% of the net primary product of photosynthesis and with a doubling of the world's population that figure rises to 80%. The 2nd evidence of limits is global warming resulting from carbon dioxide buildup caused by burning fossil fuels (beginning with the Industrial Revolution) and by deforestation. The hole in the ozone layer is evidence of the planet's limits to absorb chlorofluorocarbon pollution. Ultraviolet B radiation enters through this hole posing an increased risk of depressed immune systems, skin cancer, and declining crop yields and marine fisheries. Decreased productivity of the land caused by soil erosion, salination, and desertification is the 4th evidence of limits. Population growth and activity have already decreased the earth's biodiversity. Developing countries exceed limits because their populations are so large (77% of the world's total) and continue to grow faster than they can provide for themselves (90% of world's population growth). Yet developed countries consume more than 70% of the world's commercial energy. Reducing poverty, educating girls, improving women's status, and meeting the unmet demand for family planning would curb population growth. Qualitative development must replace quantitative throughput growth to achieve sustainability. We can do so by accelerating technical improvements in resource productivity (producing more with less), reducing population growth, and redistributing resources (e.g., technology transfer) and wealth from developed to developing countries.
Commercialization of agriculture under population pressure: effects on production, consumption, and nutrition in Rwanda.
Washington, D.C., International Food Policy Research Institute, 1991. 123 p. (Research Report 85)This research reports on the effects of increased commercialization on production, household real income, family food consumption, expenditures, on nonfood goods and services, and the nutritional status of the population in Rwanda. The process by which household food consumption and nutritional status are affected by commercialization is described with emphasis on identifying the major elements and how each element is influenced by the change. The issue was whether agricultural production systems and efficient use of resources can be sustained under population pressure. The study area was the commune of Giciye in Gisenyi district in northwestern Rwanda. The area is mountainous and has very poor quality and acidic soils, with a deficiency of phosphorus. Population increase averaged 4.2%/year. There is a high prevalence of underconsumption and malnutrition. Subsistence food production is becoming increasingly more difficult. New activities include production of tea and expansion of potato production. There is beer processing from sorghum and off-farm employment. The forces driving commercialization are identified, followed by a discussion of the production and income effects of the commercialization process, the consumption relationships and effects, the consumption/nutrition/health links, and the longterm perspectives on rural development. The research design, theory, and data base are described. The conclusions were that increasing the rate of change in agricultural technology for subsistence crops would not maintain even the current levels of poverty; there must be reductions in population growth. The recommended strategy is to encourage diversification of the rural economy with specialization in both agriculture and nonagricultural products and to improve the human capital and infrastructure base. Labor productivity needs to be increased as well as employment expansion. Labor-intensive erosion control methods such as terracing are recommended as a resource investment, which are assumed to take into account women and their time constraints. Tea production which is considered a women's crop has offered off-farm employment opportunities. Consideration must be given to land tenure policy and issues of compensation for loss of land during the commercialization process. Health and sanitation measures are needed concurrently with economic development.