Malnutrition And Food Aid Programs: A Case Study From Guatemala Page: 16
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of proteins, carbohydrates and fats, and vitamins and minerals, com-
prising what are more commonly referred to as the "three (or four)
basic food groups" or components of the diet.
While the details of nutrient utilization are complex, a short
overview would be expedient at this point since nutritional state is
one of the central issues of this study. Briefly, proteins are
broken down into amino acids, the basic building blocks necessary for
the development (and repair) of different tissues, which then reform
into the necessary proteins for tissues and other specialized proteins
in the body. A consistent lack of dietary protein can result in
muscle wasting, friable hair, etc., symptoms of severely retarded
growth. Eventually, protein dificiency can even lead to malfunctions
of the internal organs. Carbohydrates f.re the "fuel" for converting
nutrients into base chemicals which are needed for basal metabolism,
growth, all decomposition and building (synthesis), physical activity
and so on. The primary product of carbohydrate breakdown is energy
for conversion into activity. A carbohydrate deficiency is usually
accompanied by a lack of energy or listlessness and internally by
a slowing of the basal metabolic rate. Fats provide a means for a
more efficient storage of fuel, forming an energy reserve and also
providing more energy than carbohydrates when decomposed after inges-
tion. In the body, extra energy is not wasted, but rather is stored
as fats. Furthermore, surplus fat-soluable vitamins are also stored
in the body fat. Fats in the diet are also necessary for the main-
tenance of certain metabolic reactions, as well as for intercellular
transport of nutrients, and, are further important in the prevention
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Rodeheaver, Daniel Gilbert, 1954-; Bates, Frederick L. & Murphy, Arthur D. Malnutrition And Food Aid Programs: A Case Study From Guatemala, report, May 1982; (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84342/m1/29/: accessed May 30, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT College of Public Affairs and Community Service.