Bulletin of the World Health Organization
While there is evidence that persistent childhood diarrhoea has decreased, our data shows that in some countries it is a major contributor to diarrhoeal deaths. In Australia the equivalent statistic is one in When women of color lack health care and don't earn enough to make ends meet, they often find themselves choosing between things like paying the bills to keep the lights on or paying for birth control. Proceedings of a Workshop. Was the child fed breast milk yesterday?
This begins with collecting data. Data collection methodologies may use approaches that are quantitative, qualitative, based on survey results or anthropometric indicators, or a mix of all. Indicators of nutrition status can be categorized into biological indicators and social determinants.
We review some common indicators used to assess the state of undernutrition and its underlying causes. One way to measure malnutrition is to study nutrition-related outcomes, such as growth restriction, weight loss, and the occurrence of deficiency-related disorders. Common indicators recommended by the WHO include anthropometric measurements, biochemical indicators, and clinical signs of malnutrition.
Anthropometry refers to body measurements. Evidence has shown that growth patterns of well-fed, healthy children are the same for all races and ethnicities, so this reference population is used for all areas of the world. Common anthropometric indicators combine measurements with age. In particular, stunting represents low height-for-age, wasting represents low weight-for-height, and underweight scores represent low weight-for-age. A common anthropometric indicator to measure adult malnutrition is body mass index BMI excluding pregnant women and adults with edema.
A person is deemed undernourished if they have a BMI under Previous anthropometric indices of malnutrition have used the mid-upper arm circumference MUAC. While the advantage of the MUAC has been the simplicity of using only a tape to measure one quantitative dimension, MUAC is difficult to administer accurately and consistently.
The tautness with which the tape is pulled can greatly affect the variation in recorded measurements. MUAC also only provides an estimate of acute, not chronic, malnutrition, and is thus limited in utility. Micronutrient deficiencies are not easily diagnosable unless they are severe enough to result in visible disorders or illnesses.
When disorders are not apparent, diagnostics can be used to test bodily samples i. For example, iron deficiency anemia can be diagnosed by measuring the level of hemoglobin in the blood. Low levels of hemoglobin, as compared with age and sex-specific reference values, indicate anemia. In the field, a reliable device that has been implemented to test hemoglobin levels has been a microphotometer, such as the portable HemoCue.
Clinical manifestations of micronutrient deficiencies can be used to identify certain cases of malnutrition. For example, iodine deficiency can be diagnosed based on the presence of a goiter, which is a large protrusion in the neck caused by the swelling of the thyroid gland. The WHO has developed a way to classify night blindness based on four questions: The clinical manifestations of nutrition deficiencies may only appear in severe cases. Depending on the type of deficiency and the health consequences related to its condition, even clinical indicators may not provide the most well-defined representation of deficiency.
For instance, it is important to consider the possibility of confounding factors when conducting nutrition evaluations. One such clinical indicator that actually serves as a confounding factor to true anthropometric measurements is the condition of edema, water retention and extreme swelling that can be diagnosed by pressing on the skin.
It is important to note that underweight and wasting cannot be used to measure malnutrition for children with edema. Water retention increases body weight, affecting measurements of weight-for-height and weight-for-age.
It has been determined that children who present with edema in both feet should be classified as undernourished, regardless of their wasting and underweight status. Using clinical indicators requires close inspection. It is necessary to consider the various causes and consequences of deficiency — how nutrition can manifest itself such that any imbalance is visible to or hidden from the eye.
When evaluating populational micronutrient deficiency, assessments may also exclude individuals who are moderately malnourished but do not yet express clinical signs. To use clinical indicators appropriately, experts must make a detailed evaluation of the clinical history and status of each individual. Nutrition research can be aimed at identifying the various social, cultural, political, and economic factors of nutrition in order to fully understand the underlying causes of malnutrition.
The social determinants of undernutrition can be explored through both qualitative and quantitative research methods. Qualitative methods help develop a more in-depth understanding of social factors of nutrition, but are often time-consuming and impractical for large-scale surveillance.
Indicators of household food insecurity measure physical availability of food, proportion of food budget spent on staple food items, dietary diversity, and financial ability to acquire a variety of non-staple food items. Research questions should be designed to identify vulnerable groups, such as the person in the household who is most likely to eat the least when food is scarce.
Indicators of food insecurity may include: Since food security often depends on the financial ability of a household to purchase quality food items, it is beneficial to collect information about socioeconomic status and income-earning potential.
Indicators of household socioeconomic status may include: Qualitative research methods may be used to identify context-specific aspects of food security in a particular area. During the harvest period of October to April there is ample food available, but from June to September there is less agricultural production and food insecurity becomes more of a threat. People living with low socioeconomic status who are not financially stable are most affected by seasonality and its effects on food prices.
Therefore, in order to capture the seasonal contrast and attain accurate measurements, it is important to collect data on food security at least twice a year. When conducting research, it is imperative to consider the context in which the study is conducted; with nutrition, harvest seasons are ingrained in this context.
Some questions ask participants to describe their experiences with food insecurity, perceptions about food insecurity, consequences of low food intake, and other behaviors related to food insecurity. The design of the survey has been extensively tested for accuracy and has proven robust. The HFIAS includes a set of questions that address anxiety about household food supply, insufficient food quality, insufficient food intake, and the consequences of an inadequate diet.
FANTA has published a guide to implementing the HFIAS, giving an overview of the questionnaire, reviewing interview skills related to methods of asking questions and recording responses, and suggesting appropriate adaptations. The guide is meant to serve as a tool for designing food security measurement surveys the full document can be viewed at http: The USDA also wanted to cut back on salt, potatoes, and saturated fats in school lunches, while boosting the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Adams, Los Angeles Times. The case was settled out of court 11 years ago, when the department found that black farmers had to wait three times longer for loans and subsidies. In October , U. On July 19, , Shirley Sherrod was forced to resign her position as Georgia State Director of Rural Development days after video excerpts were posted online by Andrew Breitbart, blogger and media commentator, which purported to show her making racist remarks to a gathering of the NAACP Freedom Fund.
Sherrod, who is black, was making precisely the opposite point with an uplifting story of how she helped a white family avoid loss of their farm through foreclosure in while employed at a private advocacy firm for African-American farmers. Large sums of money are given annually through price supports for certain crops or farmers. These subsidies artificially keep American produce prices low on foreign markets, harming struggling foreign farmers, critics argue.
While a number of pundits still deny global warming science, in May , the U. Climate Change Science Program issued a report on the threats of climate change to agriculture and other key natural resources, which was authored by 38 researchers from universities, national laboratories, non-governmental organizations, and federal service. The USDA was the lead agency for the report and is using the findings to develop a new strategic plan for climate change research. Shifts in plant productivity and type will likely also have significant impact on livestock operations.
Higher temperatures will also likely reduce livestock production during the summer season, but these losses will likely be partially offset by warmer temperatures during the winter season. Increased CO 2 and temperatures will also more rapidly progress the lifecycle grain and oilseed crops, but as temperature rises, these crops will increasingly begin to experience failure. Climate change will also likely lead to a northern migration of weeds, the report found.
Climate Change Science Program. Climate Change Program Report. Downed cattle are prohibited from the food supply as the risks of infection, contamination, and disease are heightened with lame animals. Following the story, these products were placed on hold, and million pounds of beef was recalled—the largest beef recall in U.
The recall included beef products dating back to February of Statement by Secretary of Agriculture Ed Schafer. USDA officials maintain that they follow regulations as directed by the department and Congress, but those regulations are increasingly confusing or opaque.
Requirements for determining eligibility for RD assistance tend to be quite variable and even subjective, depending on the program itself and leaving room for lawmakers to weigh in. For some programs, assistance is limited to towns with populations below 2,, but for others numbers can reach up to 50,, and some census-based decisions can divide eligible communities by street or block. Rural Aid Goes to Urban Areas: Gaul and Sarah Cohen, Washington Post.
The report was in response to concerns raised by Senator Tom Harkin D-Iowa in on possible inflation of actual investigations conducted by the competition division in annual GIPSA reports to suggest a higher rate of enforcement activity. The report confirmed accusations that top officials had intentionally blocked investigations by refusing to provide clearance for employees to conduct investigations and inflating the number of investigations to give the misleading appearance that the agency was responding to pressures to clamp down on anti-competitive practices and market concentration.
The report identified three areas of material weaknesses: Additionally, it said the agency had not taken sufficient actions to strengthen operations in response to a finding previously reported by the Office of Inspector General in and the Government Accountability Organization GAO in The main issues of concern were that the GIPSA investigations were led by economists without the formal involvement of attorneys from the Office of General Counsel; and that the investigations process was designed for traditional trade practice and not suited to the more complex anti-competitive practices currently at issue.
In response, the bipartisan U. Packers and Stockyards Programs: In the second term of the George W. Bush administration, budget cutbacks resulted in the closing of FSA offices across the United States.
Many farmers protested these cuts, as local FSA offices have been a crucial connection between farmers and the department since the s. Ben Nelson D-Nebraska launched an investigation after learning that the Department of Agriculture was skimming funds off of congressional earmarks. Nelson asked the Congressional Research Service to investigate, which resulted in a finding that the federal government had no umbrella legal authority that allowed agencies to take a cut of each earmark and no overall standard for how much agencies should take.
The amount taken from earmarks varied within an agency. The Food and Nutrition Service finds itself at the center of ideological battles that question the role of the state in dealing with poverty and welfare, as well as business and subsidies. It is a complex debate that questions the causes and persistence of poverty. Compounding these questions are disagreements over how hunger and poverty are defined and quantified.
Often, the debate falls along party lines. Liberals focus on societal and systemic causes for poverty, such as disproportionate advantages and opportunities given to the middle class and wealthy. Many on the left see poverty as a societal creation and therefore a responsibility of government. Welfare programs are necessary to the marriage of capitalism and democracy, and welfare programs correct for market failures and redistribute wealth, allowing all members of democracy to be engaged in political and economic processes, many liberals argue.
The Poverty of Welfare: Congressional Food Stamp Challenge: Conservative opinions of poverty tend to reflect ideals of choice and personal responsibility. This view sees the poor as architects of their condition. To the Right, welfare programs reward laziness and encourage dependence. Welfare programs hurt both the poor and society because they engender dependence, discourage ambition, and perpetuate the cycle of poverty, the report found. The agreement did away with all non-tariff barriers to agriculture, either immediately or phased out over periods of five to 15 years.
The treaty also protected intellectual property rights and removed investment barriers. Furthermore, the parties to NAFTA formed the largest trading bloc in the world in terms of the members combined gross domestic product. NAFTA also produced no shortage of opinions, both pro and con, about its merits. Supporters and opponents have been especially vocal in the U. United States Trade Representative. President Felipe Calderon defended the removal of protections for corn, beans, milk and sugar, while admitting the treaty was far from perfect for his country.
Nevertheless, Calderon argued increased trade integration with the U. Case, Dallas Morning News. Some of the most vocal advocates for the treaty have been large corporations, which promised that the removal of trade barriers would create hundreds of thousands of new high-wage jobs, raise living standards in all three countries, improve environmental conditions and transform Mexico into a vibrant developed nation. Even in Mexico, farmers disagreed with President Felipe Calderon, saying they feared the removal of barriers would result in a flood of cheap U.
The result would be the loss of more farm jobs, on top of the two million already impacted by the treaty. The farmers promised to continue their public protests of NAFTA until the government provided more support to the agricultural sector. Stiglitz, New York Times. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack called for policy reforms in to avoid another collapse of milk prices that put many dairy farmers out of business two years earlier.
At that time, plummeting prices wreaked havoc for farmers, especially those in Wisconsin, which lost more than 2, dairy producers. Without specifically endorsing any plans, Vilsack said he welcomed changes from Congress, noting that the U.
Department of Agriculture had limited authority in imposing major changes in policy. Dairy Reform Necessary, U. Federal officials proposed revamping the U. Department of Agriculture USDA loan guarantee program so advanced biofuels projects could receive more assistance. The plan for the Biorefinery Assistance Program, first proposed in Section in the Farm Bill, was intended to support the development and construction of new biorefineries and the remodel of existing facilities using eligible technologies beginning after Proposed changes included allowing loan guarantees to apply to the bond market, something they currently could not do.
Officials said the change was necessary due to the difficulty of acquiring financing to support loan guarantees through commercial banks. The USDA also wanted to allow foreign entrepreneurs to own domestic biofuel refineries, which was not permitted under existing regulations.
In October , ZeaChem Inc. Among its other additional investors were companies from Japan and Australia. State of the Union The purpose of the new rule was to identify biobased products composed of a minimum amount of renewable plant or animal materials. USDA officials said the labeling initiative would serve to more clearly identify biobased products and promote their sale.
Ed Schafer , January 28, January 21, Johanns , January 21, - September 20, Veneman , January 20, - January 20, Back to Departments Back to Department of Agriculture.
Nutrition Food and Nutrition Service: Rural Development Rural Development: Marketing Farm Service Agency: Research Agricultural Research Service: The top contractor recipients and their percentage of all contracting during this time period include: Horse Slaughter Controversy Congress angered animal rights advocates in December when it lifted a ban on funding horsemeat inspections by the U.
Coli Ban Representatives of the meat industry reacted angrily toward a proposal by the U. Farming While a number of pundits still deny global warming science, in May , the U. Keep the Food Stamp Program Liberals focus on societal and systemic causes for poverty, such as disproportionate advantages and opportunities given to the middle class and wealthy.
End the Food Stamp Program Conservative opinions of poverty tend to reflect ideals of choice and personal responsibility. Stiglitz, New York Times Mexico: Vilsack Endorses Dairy Reforms Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack called for policy reforms in to avoid another collapse of milk prices that put many dairy farmers out of business two years earlier. Johanns , January 21, - September 20, Ann M.
Veneman , January 20, - January 20, Daniel R. Madigan, March 8, - January 20, Clayton K. Yeutter, February 16, - March 1, Richard E. Lyng, March 7, - January 21, John R. Block, January 23, - February 14, Robert S.
Bergland, January 23, - January 20, John A. Knebel, November 4, - January 20, Earl L. Butz, December 2, - October 4, Clifford M. Hardin, January 21, - November 17, Orville L. Brannan, June 2, - January 20, Clinton P. Anderson, June 30, - May 10, Claude R. Wickard, September 5, - June 29, Henry A. Wallace, March 4, - September 4, Arthur M. Hyde, March 6, - March 4, William M.
Jardine, March 5, - March 4, Howard M. Gore, November 22, - March 4, Henry C. Wallace, March 5, - October 25, Edwin T. Meredith, February 2, - March 4, David F. See all 34 comments Comments Elaine 1 month ago. I have a box containing specimens of wool It Says "official standards of the united states for grades of wool top".
It is numbered It was signed by then Secretary of Agriculture, Arthur M. Is there a market for such an item It is dated August 9, Peter Klein 5 months ago. It is a question really which is: What is the best grass to use to prevent dog urine from browning the grass? Please refer me to the correct agency or organization, if you do not have the answer. Thank you, Peter Klein. JC Green 6 months ago.
Why did my paycheck come from this Dept when I never worked for this department? Why wouldn't the treasury pay my wages? I want to know what the plans are for continuing the CRP program. My contract expires in Oct. Please let me know the intentions I do to want to loose the family farm that we have worked so hard to create a place for the wildlife --it has worked , so why would it not continue?
Marcia Ketchem 1 year ago. Why is the super plane not being used to fight the fires in MT, Wa, and other western states? Why is it grounded in Ca? Drew 1 year ago. That will tell you what he thinks you want to hear And lock in your vote Jan 1 year ago.
I have become an activist for an African elephant named Nosey. She has been owned by a small circus in Davenport, Florida. The owner has over animal abuse citations yet the USDA continues to grant this circus owner a permit. There have been 3 appeals to overrule the permits and all have been denied. There is public moral outrage over her abusive treatment. Why won't the Dept. There are also affidavits from a veterinarian regarding her declining health.
Please help us be the voice for this elephant. Dario O Amado 2 years ago. Does the US dept. Can and will stop this madness. Michael 2 years ago. He was adopted as an infant by Bud and Dolly Vilsack. His father was a real-estate agent and insurance salesman, and his mother was a homemaker. He had one sister, Alice, who was six years older than Vilsack and died in her mids.
Vilsack reportedly had a lonely and difficult childhood. His mother was addicted to prescription drugs and alcohol, and she abandoned her family when Vilsack was Vilsack graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history in , and the following year he married Ann. He served as president of the Iowa Trial Lawyers Association in On December 10, , a disgruntled resident, Ralph Davis, shot and killed Mayor Edward King and wounded two council members during a city council meeting.
He was elected in and went on to serve three terms as mayor. From there, Vilsack ran for the state Senate as a Democrat and was elected in He was re-elected in and , although he almost gave up politics in after mulling a run for Congress.
Instead, he returned to the state Senate for one last term. In , Vilsack made a risky career move and ran for governor—risky because Iowa had not elected a Democratic governor in 32 years. He came from 20 points behind in the polls to upset Republican Jim Ross Lightfoot who was also adopted from an orphanage , thanks in part to strong support from organized labor.
He easily won re-election four years later. Vilsack tried to finance the new program through use of his line-item veto power, by axing monies for other programs and redirecting them to the fund. The move was ruled unconstitutional by the state Supreme Court. Vilsack raised some eyebrows in when he signed an executive order that allowed felons who served their sentences to regain their right to vote. Iowa law had held that convicted felons were permanently barred from voting unless the governor personally restored their voting rights.