Chapter Eight
Child Nutrition in
Developing Countries and
Its Policy Consequences

Noel W Solomons, M.D.


The Historical Background

Focus and Definitions

The first task of analysis and interpretation may be to analyze and interpret the meaning (operational definitions) of certain terms and concepts to be used and addressed. The term developing country is a euphemism. It is the successor to the term less-developed country, (or LDC), which was in the lexicon of the United Nations' agencies and the bilateral development assistance community until the 1970s. With the emergence of political correctness, it came to be considered pejorative when juxtaposed against its antonym, the more-developed country. Other contrasts that will be used interchangeably for variety's sake include South (as contrasted to North) and third world (as contrasted to first world). The bottom-line in this designation is primarily economic and secondarily geographical. The developing countries we are talking about are nations in which the majority of the populace is poor and cannot easily satisfy basic necessities; this is independent of both the intrinsic resource base of the country and the net worth of the elite monied class, and the ruling aristocracies. Poverty is accompanied by high rates of illiteracy and morbidity and low rates of child survival. Expressed political instability and overt social unrest alternate with political repression and authoritarian rule. Most of the world's population, 75 to 80 percent, lives in the developing world. Most of these nations lie in the band circumscribed by the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. However, areas farther south in the Southern Cone of South America and in southern Africa

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