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Relationship between childhood diseases and food avoidances in rural South India

Ecology of food and nutrition1(1-2): 101-114

Relationship between childhood diseases and food avoidances in rural South India

This study examines the selection of foods for children by mothers in rural South India. The mothers' explanations of the reasons for food avoidances were verbally recorded and analyzed using both quantitative and qualitative methods used in cognitive psychology. The results revealed that the choice of foods considered as suitable for consumption by the child was governed by concerns related to three major childhood health problems, thokam, mandham & perali, and karpan rather than by the food categories (for example, the 'hot' and 'cold' foods). The interpretations of the health problems were based on the traditional theories of Siddha and Ayurvedic medicine prevalent in India. The implications of these findings with respect to child nutrition and nutrition education are discussed.

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Accession: 002477719

DOI: 10.1080/03670244.1993.9991352

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