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Nutritional ecology in the tropical rain forests of Amazonia


Nutritional ecology in the tropical rain forests of Amazonia



American Journal of Human Biology: the Official Journal of the Human Biology Council 4(2): 197-207



ISSN/ISBN: 1042-0533

PMID: 28524344

DOI: 10.1002/ajhb.1310040205

Available data on diet and nutritional status of Amerindians living in the tropical rain forests of Amazonia are reviewed and evaluated. The diets of most Amerindians are based on cassava and plantains/bananas, with high-quality protein coming from fish, game, and invertebrates. Although tropical rain forests are rich in plant species, wild plants do not appear to be very important in the diet. Their use, however, has not received much attention and may be underestimated. The composition of Amerindian diets is known for only a few groups, in whom the dietary intake of households and adults appears to be adequate in energy and protein. However, the high-bulk, low-caloric density of the diets means that they are probably not sufficiently concentrated for children. Anthropometric data are available for a number of groups. Adults are small in size, but nutritional status assessed in terms of the BMI is good. Children are small for age, and in some groups more than 10% would be classified as undernourished on the basis of weight-for-height and/or clinical signs.

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Accession: 060034135

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