Malnutrition And Food Aid Programs: A Case Study From Guatemala Page: 34
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score. Though the constituents of their socioeconomic component are
somewhat different from that being used in this study, it is still
useful as an example of the relationship between the socioeconomic
environment and nutritional status.
As a final note on this topic, it should be remembered that Habicht
et al. (1974) and Johnston et al. (1976) pointed out the impact of
socioeconomics on nutritional status (i.e. growth), as discussed earlier.
In discussing the reliability of growth standards, Johnston et al. found
that the differences in growth between different ethnic groups in
Guatemala were due principally to differences in their socioeconomic
levels. Habicht and his fellow researchers, for instance, found that
the variation in heights of preschool aged children due to socioeconomic
differences was approximately four times as great as the variation due
to ethnic differences among this same age group, their conclusions
being based on several different studies in different geographic regions.
As Immink et al. (1982: 354) state:
Poor nutritional intake is clearly associated with low
socioeconomic status. The impact on physical growth of
inadequate nutrient intake, per se, is admittedly difficult
to separate from the effect of other factors which are
associated with poor living conditions.
Finally, the sociocultural environment should be briefly considered
apart from socioeconomics since certain beliefs and practices in a
given society will define and govern what, which and how available re-
sources are to be used. In the case of highland Guatemala, for example,
the ethnographic evidence indicates that, for sociocultural reasons,
it is considered inappropriate to utilize wild edible plants (histori-
cally known to have been used and which, incidentally, are of high
nutrient value) as food resources (Rodeheaver and Rodeheaver 1980).
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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/m1/47/: accessed December 15, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT College of Public Affairs and Community Service.