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Scrimshaw N.S.,Incap Inc | Scrimshaw N.S.,Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Food and Nutrition Bulletin | Year: 2010

The high prevalence of goiter among adults in its member countries of Central America and Panama was observed as soon as INCAP began field studies. This led to systematic studies of goiter in schoolchildren in all of the countries as described, beginning with Guatemala where the rate was 38% nationally. However, efforts to eliminate the consequences of iodine with iodized salt using the water soluble potassium iodate and a process that had proved successful in Switzerland and the United States could not be used with the crude moist salt of the region. INCAP identified potassium iodate that is insoluble in water, and in four schools (two each in El Salvador and Guatemala) proved that the iodine in this compound was as available as that in potassium iodate. It remained evenly distributed in moist salt. When added to salt in Guatemala, goiter rate dropped to 15% in four years and less than 5% in eight years. Compulsory iodation of salt in other developing countries followed with comparable results. This method is now used in worldwide campaigns against iodine deficiency in developing countries. © 2010, The United Nations University. Source


Guzman M.A.,Incap Inc | Guzman M.A.,University of North Carolina
Food and Nutrition Bulletin | Year: 2010

This paper reviews the findings of early field studies of INCAP comparing the effects of vitamin B 12 and animal and vegetable protein on the growth of poorly nourished schoolchildren. It also describes a 5-year communitybased intervention study showing that a protein-rich supplement given to preschool children improves growth and cognition and decreases morbidity and mortality. Medical care in one village had no detectable benefits. A classical seven-year community-based detailed observational study of the infection status and growth in children from birth is also summarized. © 2010, The United Nations University. Source


Behar M.,Incap Inc
Food and Nutrition Bulletin | Year: 2010

The second Director of the Institute of Nutrition of Central America and Panama (INCAP) reminisces about the productive program of valuable and practical research at the highest level developed with local personnel in a small and poor developing region. The same was true for the world-class advanced training program that contributed many hundreds of professionals, not only to the region, but to all of Latin America and to other countries. The major contributions of INCAP in its first 25 years are cited along with reasons for its success. © 2010, The United Nations University. Source


Arroyave G.,Incap Inc
Food and Nutrition Bulletin | Year: 2010

From its earliest years, INCAP gave a high priority to a multidisciplinary effort to learn as much as possible about the dietary habits, nutritional status, and their consequences in the populations of Central America and Panama. Most of the papers in this Special Issue contain some of this information. The first studies were in schoolchildren but were soon extended to preschool children, pregnant and lactating women, and other adults. This paper describes the principal findings of the initial dietary, biochemical, and clinical community-based studies. From 1965-67, very extensive studies were carried out in all six countries including dietary, biochemical, clinical, and onthological studies were carried out in all six countries, the results of which are summarized. © 2010, The United Nations University. Source


Scrimshaw N.S.,Incap Inc | Scrimshaw N.S.,Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Food and Nutrition Bulletin | Year: 2010

As soon as the Institute of Nutrition of Central America and Panama (INCAP) began to study the poor nutritional status and stunting of children in the rural villages of Central America, it was apparent that infections, particularly diarrheas, were also a serious problem. Studies of kwashiorkor indicated that infections precipitated kwashiorkor and anemia in children who were already malnourished. In the 1940s there was almost no suggestion in the literature of a relation between nutrition and infection. INCAP gradually identified the mechanisms by which any infection worsens nutritional status and demonstrated that infections were more severe and more often fatal in malnourished children and adults. These studies ultimately led to the 1968 World Health Organization (WHO) monograph "Interactions of nutrition and infection" and widespread recognition by public health workers of the importance of this relationship for morbidity and mortality in poorly nourished populations. © 2010, The United Nations University. Source

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