Malnutrition And Food Aid Programs: A Case Study From Guatemala Page: 32
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that in the underdeveloped world a "dual economy" exists in which a
modern economic sector coexists with a more traditional economic sector
between which there is considerable interplay and interdependence.
Furthermore, as Conde (1979) notes, income indicators are unreliable
in assessing the socioeconomic situation in the underdeveloped world
because of the mass underemployment which exists there. What results
is a socioeconomic system which employs a combination of income and
"domestic assets", and non-money based access to resources, goods and
services. Therefore, socioeconomics as defined here is primarily con-
cerned with access to power, income, land, goods and services, as
defined by the sociocultural context.
Berg (1973), as did Malina (1973; 1975) and others, argues that
the socioeconomic environment is the most important variable indirectly
determining how much of the growth potential is realized by an indivi-
dual or a population group. Though it cannot be applied as an abso-
lute universal, in the modern world, the social, economic and political
environments are probably the most important factors indirectly influ-
encing nutritional status. I. Wallerstein (1976) notes that most of
the sociopolitical isolates from the world economic system have long
since disappeared. With economic structures being what they are, money
(currency) is generally required to satisfy the increased demand for
services and goods. Chen (1979: 58) states: "The availability of
foods Is dependent on the purchasing power (of the prospective eater)...
as well as (the) capacity to produce food supplies."
Without getting into "class" arguments, roughly, the less access
a person has to the basic, necessary resources, the more likely he is
to suffer nutritionally. Socioeconomics is further projected as the
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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/m1/45/: accessed January 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT College of Public Affairs and Community Service.