50 terms

The Geography of Food and Health

Majiang County
Prevention relative to treatment
(Evaluation: Careful planning and adequate funding of preventative health care = huge improvements in medical standards very quickly and 0 cases of HIV/AIDS. Now a model county, and policy-makers come to learn from its example).
A state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity (definition by The World Health Organisation).
The health of a population.
The direct consequence of having enough food, a balanced diet and reduced susceptibility to disease (IB).
Evaluation of life expectancy as a measure of health.
Underestimates the burden of ill-health. Can be affected by a high Infant Mortality Rate. Can be affected by conflict, air pollution, natural hazards, sanitation and the locations where people live. There may be differences between cohorts (age groups) in the population which relates to improvements over time (it is only an average). There may be ethnic and gender variations within countries.
Evaluation of Infant Mortality Rate (IMF) as a measure of health.
Indicative of the availability of appropriate medical support, the age of the mother, the nature of the household the child is born into, education and sanitation. Thus it is a good measure of development. But there may be issues with registering births and deaths in some areas which may affect the reliability of figures (especially in the case of large scale migrations and in countries where a significant proportion of the population are under the age of 15).
Evaluation of Health Adjusted Life Expectancy (HALE) as a measure of health.
A measure of quality as well as quantity of life, which perhaps makes it a more effective measure. There is an adjustment to the average figure for the time that is spent in ill health. This works out the equivalent number of years in full health that a newborn child can expect to live based on the current mortality and morbidity rates for the country.
Disability-adjusted life years (DALYs).
Measures number of years of potential or productive life, which are lost to poor health or disability.
Years lived with a disability.
Evaluation of calorie intake as a measure of health.
Although there are minimum recommended calorie intake figures (2000 calories for women, and 2500 for men per day), the 'type' of food that is eaten is also significant (healthy food in Japan and the Mediterranean). The diet needs to be varied and balanced (to avoid malnutrition).The intake of too many calories leads to obesity. Hides inequalities (the USA). There are differences in calorie requirements (Tour de France cyclist). Not actually measuring health but is a factor that can be said to affect health.
Evaluation of access to safe water as a measure of health.
An essential element of health as not only are diseases spread by drinking contaminated water, but water is also a method of disease transmission for a range of insects and other organisms. When people are forced to drink dirty water, their chances of poor health increase dramatically, and their ability to recover is reduced substantially, as rehydration is required for diseases such as diarrhoea. Water is also involved in the transmission of certain diseases (malaria, bilharzia). Not actually measuring health but is a factor that can be said to affect health.
Evaluation of access to health services as a measure/indicator of health.
Some countries are understood to have lower coverage (of doctors, health workers, hospitals, hospital beds) than is required for adequate health care. An additional figure is health expenditure per capita. It is worth noting that the age structure of an area can impact on the accuracy of the figure. Not actually measuring health but is a factor that can be said to affect health
A state of poor nutrition. This usually results from a deficiency of proteins, energy or minerals. May lead to one of a range of diseases depending on the particular nature of it.
Temporary hunger
Both a state where there is a desire for food and an absence of food. This is a short term need for food, triggered by physiological responses caused by food deprivation.
Chronic hunger
A state where the desire for food becomes extreme, due to prolonged food deprivation, to the point where normal bodily functions begin to be affected.
Is defined technically as: "a situation where acute malnutrition rates among children exceed 30%, more than 2 people per 10 000 die per day, and people are not able to access food and other basic necessities..." The recent one in Somalia in 2011 was the first 'real' one for some time.
Food security.
"This exists when all people, at all times have access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life..." (FAO - Food and Agriculture Organisation of United Nations).
The Green Revolution
The name given to the approach that was developed by Norman Borlaug and others to increase the productivity of agricultural land in key countries of the world by educating farmers and introducing new technologies.
Factors that might reduce the level of food sufficiency in an area.
Climate change, increasing energy prices, rising demand due to population growth and increased affluence, growing trend for biofuel production, underinvestment in agriculture, global economic trends (land grabs, changes in prices due to speculative trading etc.).
Factors that have increased the availability of food in some areas.
Changes in agricultural systems (changes to the inputs, processes and outputs), technological innovations,the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), the expansion of the area under agriculture and the growth of agribusiness.
Ethiopia's silent famine (2009-2010), or the Horn of Africa Crisis (2011).
Case study of the causes for a recent famine.
Factors that affect the production and availability of food.
Trade barriers (like tariffs and quotas), agricultural subsidies, bilateral and multilateral agreements, and transnational corporations (TNCs).
Ways to alleviate food shortages.
Food aid, free trade and fair trade.
Sustainable farming.
Sustainability rests on the principle that we must meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Therefore, stewardship of both natural and human resources is of prime importance. Stewardship of human resources includes consideration of social responsibilities such as working and living conditions of labourers, the needs of rural communities, and consumer health and safety both in the present and the future. Stewardship of land and natural resources involves maintaining or enhancing this vital resource base for the long term.
Areas that are commonly focused on in sustainable farming (often organic farming) include:
Conservation and soil health.
Nutrient recycling e.g. animal waste being used for fertilizer.
Biodiversity - this is helped through a minimal use of chemicals on the land.
Animal welfare - more care taken with animals, and different diets perhaps.
Fair wages and treatment for workforce - farm is part of the rural community.
Sustainable yield.
The food that can be taken from the land without reducing the ability of the land to produce the same in the future without external support.
Food miles
A measure of the distance that food travels from its source to the consumer. This can be given either in units of actual distance, or of energy consumed during transport.
Disease of poverty
Diseases of poverty tend to be transmitted through close human contact due to the living conditions of people in areas like shanty towns, or vectors, such as insects. They are not completely confined to people living in poverty, but are more likely to be experienced by them.
One example of a disease of affluence.
Diabetes.Is related to diet and lifestyle (sedentary).The risk of developing type 2 diabetes can be dramatically reduced by keeping body weight below that of obesity, and avoiding particular types of food which are common in a more 'western' diet. In the last decade, India has become home to the world's largest concentration of diabetics.
Expansion diffusion
The expanding disease has a source and diffuses outwards into new areas.
Relocation diffusion
The spreading disease moves into new areas, for instance a person moving into a new area or flying somewhere.
The geographic factors responsible for the incidence and spread of malaria.
Found in humid tropical areas (the Anopheles mosquito and its parasite thrive here), miniumum 20 degrees, stagnant water, often follow natural disasters, war. Usually found in densely populated, agricultural areas. Poverty (cannot afford the insecticide-treated bed nets etc.)...
Evaluation of the management strategies that have been applied in any one country or region for Malaria.
Millennium Development Goal 6.
Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases.
By 2015 halt and begin to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS.
By 2015 halt and begin to reverse the incidence of malaria and other major diseases.
The epidemiological transition.
When chronic and degenerative diseases (due to lifestyle changes) come to replace infectious diseases as the major cause of death.
Diseases of poverty.
Infectious or communicable diseases such as malaria, bilharzia, diarrhoeal disease and HIV/AIDS.
Diseases of affluence.
Non-communicable, chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, chronic respiratory failure and cancer. These are degenerative diseases associated with old age, but they now affect younger people, too.
Causes of degenerative diseases at a young age.
Smoking, high-energy diet, low levels of physical activity and high alcohol consumption, air pollution.
Contagious diffusion.
The spread of an infectious disease through the direct contact of individuals with those affected.
Hierarchical diffusion.
When a phenomenon spreads through an ordered sequence of classes or places, for example from cities to large urban areas to small urban areas.
Network diffusion.
When a disease spreads via transportation and social networks, for example the spread of HIV in southern Africa along transport routes.
Mixed diffusion.
A combination of contagious diffusion and hierarchal diffusion.
Disease diffusion.
Refers to the spread of disease into new locations.
Physical/natural barriers towards disease diffusion.
Mountains and water bodies and distance decay (the further a place is away from the source of incidence the lower the incidence of disease).
Political and economic barriers towards disease diffusion.
Political borders, migration control, cancellation of big sports or music events, face masks, creating a heightened awareness of improved hygiene, isolation.
The diffusion of swine flu (H1N1) in 2009
The source area of this pandemic was Mexico. The diffusion took place by contagious, expansion and relocation diffusion. 2 million people flew from Mexico to more than 1,000 cities in 164 countries, mostly in the USA. Swine flue began its spread in those countries from that time.
An epidemic of infectious disease that has spread through human populations across a large region; for instance multiple continents, or even worldwide.
Energy subsidies
Sources of energy not directly received from the sun, e.g. fossil fuels.
The Energy Efficency Ratio (The EER)
energy outputs : energy inputs
Sedentary lifestyle.
Two forms of malnutrition.
Kwashiorkor is a form of malnutrition that is caused due to insufficient intake of proteins, whereas Marasmus is caused due to insufficient intake of proteins, fats and carbohydrates.