Conclusions

Through the progressive evolution from rural residence in nomadic tribes and pastoral pursuits to settling of farms and plantations, the conditions for creation of towns, cities, and metropolises have emerged. Public health nutrition and the epidemiology of nutrition must focus more on what has been termed 'urban nutrition' as the world's population shifts from rural to urban residency. The essential complexity of providing for human needs in densely populated settings has repercussions for the resulting nutriture of the urban populations and for the nature of their environments. Street foods, street children, urban pollution, and diet and life styles can foster or be associated with undernutrition and reduced productive capacity in some circumstances while

Table 1 Opportunities in urban nutrition research

• Basic description of diet and nutrition in selected townships and metropoli

• Rural-urban comparisons

• Role of family and household relationships

• Influence of rural-to-urban migration on nutritional status and dietary status

• Universality and generalizability of dietary factors for degenerative diseases

• Contributions of urban agriculture to the urban food supply

• Influence of urban pollution on the food supply and nutritional status

• Nutritional and health status of street children

• Containing the epidemic of obesity and metabolic syndrome in urban populations contributing to overnutrition and excess noncommu-nicable disease in others. Rather than use the 'lessons' from the rural experience in developing countries, it is important to direct one's reading, one's research, or both to the study of the urban milieu in order to gain insights for addressing the challenges of urban nutrition. Table 1 outlines a framework of opportunities for urban nutrition research that derive from the considerations in this review.

See also: Anemia: Iron-Deficiency Anemia. Breast Feeding. Iron. Obesity: Definition, Etiology and Assessment.

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