Focusing on universal public health issues, this book explores what can be done and what the future holds. It introduces students and practitioners to behavior -change theories and applications. It details experiences of successful programs for the prevention and control of the world's biggest killers: malnutrition; respiratory infections; diarrhea; HIV//AIDS; and health problems arising from tobacco consumption and lack of access to family planning. The book explores health communication and social marketing strategies, learning theory, media advocacy, and community development. These behavior-change strategies are presented in terms of how the theory relates specifically to a particular health or disease issue.
Chapter 3: Nutrition
The nutritional condition of the human population will largely dictate the health of that population. In turn, this nutritional condition is heavily influenced by various social, cultural, and ecological factors (Brown & Solomon, 1991). The nutritional status of populations in developing countries generally stems from deficiency rather than excess, closely associated with other indicators of poverty. These populations are heavily reliant on plant sources of nutrients rather than animal sources, and they are easily affected by adverse environmental conditions, which in turn contribute to a high prevalence of infectious diseases. Although impoverished communities in industrialized countries may experience aspects of undernutrition as well, it is often in combination with some nutritional excess.
Vast proportions of developing-country populations are threatened by malnutrition, including deficiencies in protein, ...