ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Nutrition Debate-Statistical Battle or Ideological Conflict

September 7, 1985 ed the debt cancelling proposals of Castro. Latin American diplomats told the New York Times reporter in Havana that Castro "is improving our negotiating position with the banks. He is cornering them with the idea that we are not going to pay. We are going to pay; we should pay. But we can only pay if the rules of the game are changed. We need better conditions. Castro is pressuring for all of us. He is saying things we do not dare say. Perhaps he is helping us find an intermediate position, and we appreciate that." In the process, Castro is being heard all over Latin America and has begun to isolate the US from its Latin neighbours REVIEW IT was a Western myth that the nutrition problem in India was of protein deficiency. This was perhaps because of insignificant presence of animal food either because of poverty or because of taboo in Indian diets. Credit goes to P V Sukhatme for venturing to discard this Western idea. He studied Indian diets and convincingly concluded that calorie deficiency was of much greater concern for Indians.1 Same facts were supported by Gopalan2 for India, and Ghassemi3 for Iran. Then came in 1971 a pioneering work for India by Dandekar and Rath4 linking poverty line with minimum requirement of calories. Calorie became the catchword, and a large volume of literature was written to show increasing or decreasing trend of poverty. Also, this became an important tool for the planning exercise. Importance of other nutrients was ignored, and requirements of calorie were not scientifically derived. It was again Sukhatme who first started an attack on this unscientific use in his Lal Bahadur memorial lecture in 1977.5 He accused others of overestimating the problem of undernutrition. He has later written quite a few articles to prove his case.6 Many others have shared his view7 and many have not.

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