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  1. 1
    Peer Reviewed

    The challenge of measuring global fruit and vegetable intake.

    Pomerleau J; Lock K; McKee M; Altmann DR

    Journal of Nutrition. 2004 May; 134(5):1175-1180.

    The WHO recently conducted, within its Global Burden of Disease 2000 Study, a Comparative Risk Assessment (CRA) to estimate the global health effect of low fruit and vegetable intake. This paper summarizes the methods used to obtain exposure data for the CRA and provides estimates of worldwide fruit and vegetable intakes. Intakes were derived from 26 national population-based surveys, complemented with food supply statistics. Estimates were stratified by 14 subregions, 8 age groups, and gender. Subregions were categorized on the bases of child mortality under age 5 y and 15- to 59-y-old male mortality (A: very low child and adult mortality; B: low child and adult mortality; C: low child, high adult mortality; D: high child and adult mortality; E: high child, very high adult mortality). Mean intakes were highest in Europe A [median = 449 g/(person • d)] and the Western Pacific Region A. They were lowest in America B [median = 192 g/(person • d)], and low in Europe C, the South East Asian Regions B and D, and Africa E. Children and elderly individuals generally had lower intakes than middle-aged adults. SDs varied considerably by region, gender, and age [overall median = 223 g/(person • d)]. Assessing exposure levels for the CRA had major methodological limitations, particularly due to the lack of nationally representative intake data. The results showed mean intakes generally lower than current recommendations, with large variations among subregions. If the burden of disease attributable to dietary factors is to be assessed more accurately, more countries will have to assess the dietary intake of their populations using comparable methods. (author's)
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  2. 2

    Food security through science.

    Harsch E

    Africa Recovery. 1999 Dec; 13(4):[6] p..

    To combat hunger and improve food security in their continent, Africans must make better use of science to overcome soil degradation, says Mr. Uzo Mokwunye, director of the UN's Institute for Natural Resources in Africa (INRA). "Farmers know that low soil fertility is a major problem, but nobody is doing anything about it," he said in an interview at the institute's headquarters at the University of Ghana, Legon, near Accra. According to UN studies, about 72 per cent of sub-Saharan Africa's cropland and 31 per cent of its pastureland is degraded, contributing to enormous losses in output. Meanwhile, 35 per cent of Africa's children are malnourished. If current trends continue, by 2025 the region will produce enough food for only 40 per cent of its projected 1 billion people. Thus far, most agricultural research is devoted to developing high-yielding seeds, Mr. Mokwunye notes. But, he adds, a green revolution "will be impossible in Africa" unless soil quality is improved so that these new varieties can thrive. With both high-yielding seeds and more fertile soil, rice and wheat yields could double, sorghum yields could triple and maize yields could quadruple. (excerpt)
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