Culture-Made Nutritional Inadequacies

  • Christine S. Wilson


The diets of all peoples are determined by the culture of their particular group, and by impinging ecologic aspects (kinds of food regionally available, seasonality) and economic factors (ability to obtain food by own efforts, cash, or barter). No society that has been studied has eaten every potential foodstuff in its surroundings, although a few have nearly done so. The Otomi Indians of the Mezquital Valley of Mexico, geographically separated from outside contact and obliged to exist on edible items in their environment, used most to attain a varied diet and good nutritional status (Anderson et al., 1946). Most groups resemble the !Kung San Bushmen of the Kalahari (Lee, 1973), who selected 23 plant and 17 animal species from a potential of 85 plant and 223 animal foods. Although selections may be conscious, choice is influenced in a variety of ways by the culture in which the individual was reared.


Folk Medicine Rice Wine Specific Dynamic Action Caribbean Black Unpublished Information 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christine S. Wilson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Epidemiology and International HealthUniversity of CaliforniaSan FranciscoUSA

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