Rainer Gross& Günter Dresrüsse
Der Mensch ist was er ißt ( Ludwig Feuerbach) (Man is what he eats)
I ndisputably, humans eat for variety of reasons, and not solely to satisfy their nutrient requirements. Many other factors influence food intake, and one of them is the quest for personal or group status. This occurs in developed countries, where the main problem is overnutrition, as well as in developing countries, where many people suffer from malnutrition.
For the majority of the world's population, nutritional security is not granted. Nutritional security shall be understood in terms of ensuring that all people at all times have an adequate nutritional status to safeguard a physically and emotionally healthy life. This is analogous to the definition of food security of the Food and Agriculture Organization ( FAO 1983). This chapter deals with the following questions: (1) What is the relationship between nutritional status, food intake, nutritional practices, and social status? (2) Which food and nutrition interventions are most effective in developing countries considering the role food plays in the status of an individual?
Nutritional problems have many roots. Figure 15.1 lists some of the problems that can cause poor nutrition in developing countries, due