Cities of Hunger: Urban Malnutrition in Developing Countries by Jane Pryer, Nigel Crook

By Jane Pryer, Nigel Crook

Offers an cutting edge means of analysing the explanations of city malnutrition and hyperlinks this research to 3 initiatives in contrasting city settings.

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Extra resources for Cities of Hunger: Urban Malnutrition in Developing Countries

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This is because exploitative leaders or factions, who are often recognised as 'official representatives' of their communities, are likely to be motivated in their dealings with outside agencies by the twin objectives of personal profit and/or political advancement. Such objectives are in direct conflict with the needs of the poorest household groups within the same community. On the positive end of the spectrum, there may be enlightened community leaders or elite groups who, if mobilised, have the genuine potential to participate actively in development projects and stimulate community involvement and commitment to such projects.

There are also the costs of house rental, and other basic necessities such as clothing, education and transport. Creditors may arrive demanding payments on debts incurred due to lack of income to buy food or to meet medical or ceremonial expenses, and these debt payments, together with their interest, have to be met. In the Asian slum mentioned previously, 64% of the households in the poorest income group were indebted to cover the cost of food alone - and to a level which was on average 75% of their monthly income; whereas no households in the richest income group were indebted to cover the cost of food.

It is evident that certain circumstances are likely to cause a low nutritional status among children in poor households who have working mothers. First, if the mother has a job which is incompatible with child-care, early weaning onto breast milk substitutes or weaning foods might take place; and because of the danger of contamination, and the over-dilution of expensive breast milk alternatives, malnutrition is a likely result. A striking example of malnutrition arising from the over-dilution of infants' foods is provided by Schweiger and Cutting (1978).

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