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This wide-ranging book, focused on the use of English as a lingua franca in intranational and international contexts, explores the ecologies in which interactions in English occur and the phonological, grammatical, lexical and pragmatic processes that take place when speakers of different varieties of L2 English come into contact. For Meierkord, a key difference between intranational and international contexts is that in the former interactions tend to take place in relatively stable communities, circumstances which are more propitious for the adoption of new features and the eventual emergence of new L2 varieties; for example, the nativised varieties of post–colonial societies. In international contexts, by contrast, lingua franca encounters tend to be more short-term, and there is therefore less opportunity for the emergence, adoption and stabilisation of new features. Accommodation, rather, is one of the more common pragmatic responses. These, however, are rough generalisations, for throughout the book an important motif is heterogeneity: heterogeneity in the varieties of English entering into contact, heterogeneity in speaker characteristics such as their level of English proficiency, and heterogeneity in the purposes and contexts of the encounters.
Few multi-ethnic national surveys have examined Zn nutriture, despite its importance for optimal growth and development during childhood. We assessed the Zn status of urban and semi-urban children aged 5–15 years from three ethnic groups in New Zealand (NZ) in the 2002 Children's National Nutrition Survey and investigated the factors predisposing them to Zn deficiency. In a 10-month cross-sectional survey, Pacific and Māori children were over-sampled permitting ethnic-specific analyses. Anthropometry, serum Zn and Zn intakes via 24 h recalls were measured. Anthropometric z scores were highest in Pacific children. Overall, mean adjusted serum Zn at 11 years was for males and females, respectively: 11·9 (95 % CI 11·5, 12·3) and 12·5 (95 % CI 12·0, 12·9) μmol/l in NZ European and Other (NZEO) children (n 395); 11·9 (95 % CI 11·4, 12·4) and 12·0 (95 % CI 11·4, 12·5) μmol/l in Māori children (n 379); and 11·5 (95 % CI 11·1, 11·9) and 11·4 (95 % CI 11·1, 11·8) μmol/l in Pacific children (n 589). The predictors of serum Zn were age, serum Se and sex for NZEO children; serum Se and age for Pacific children; and none for Māori children. Pacific children had the highest prevalence of low serum Zn (21 (95 % CI 11, 30) %), followed by Māori children (16 (95 % CI 12, 20) %) and NZEO children (15 (95 % CI 9, 21) %). Prevalence of inadequate Zn intakes, although low, reached 8 % for Pacific children who had the lowest Zn intake/kg body weight. Pacific boys but not girls with low serum Zn had a lower mean height-for-age z-score (P < 0·007) than those with normal serum Zn. We conclude that the biochemical risk of Zn deficiency in Pacific children indicates a public health problem. However, a lack of concordance with the risk of dietary Zn inadequacy suggests the need for better defined cut-offs in children.
Widespread zinc deficiency is likely to exist in developing countries where staple diets are predominantly plant based and intakes of animal tissues are low. The severe negative consequences of zinc deficiency on human health in developing countries, however, have only recently been recognized. An integrated approach employing targeted supplementation, fortification and dietary strategies must be used to maximize the likelihood of eliminating zinc deficiency at a national level in developing countries. Supplementation is appropriate only for populations whose zinc status must be improved over a relatively short time period, and when requirements cannot be met from habitual dietary sources. As well, the health system must be capable of providing consistent supply, distribution, delivery and consumption of the zinc supplement to the targeted groups. Uncertainties still exist about the type, frequency, and level of supplemental zinc required for prevention and treatment of zinc deficiency. Salts that are readily absorbed and at levels that will not induce antagonistic nutrient interactions must be used. At a national level, fortification with multiple micronutrients could be a cost effective method for improving micronutrient status, including zinc, provided that a suitable food vehicle which is centrally processed is available. Alternatively, fortification could be targeted for certain high risk groups (e.g. complementary foods for infants). Efforts should be made to develop protected fortificants for zinc, so that potent inhibitors of zinc absorption (e.g. phytate) present either in the food vehicle and/or indigenous meals do not compromise zinc absorption. Fortification does not require any changes in the existing food beliefs and practices for the consumer and, unlike supplementation, does not impose a burden on the health sector. A quality assurance programme is required, however, to ensure the quality of the fortified food product from production to consumption. In the future, dietary modification/diversification, although long term, may be the preferred strategy because it is more sustainable, economically feasible, culturally acceptable, and equitable, and can be used to alleviate several micronutrient deficiencies simultaneously, without danger of inducing antagonistic micronutrient interactions. Appropriate dietary strategies include consumption of zinc-dense foods and those known to enhance zinc absorption, reducing the phytic acid content of plant based staples via enzymic hydrolysis induced by germination/fermentation or nonenzymic hydrolysis by soaking or thermal processing. All the strategies outlined above should be integrated with ongoing national food, nutrition and health education programmes, to enhance their effectiveness and sustainability, and implemented using nutrition education and social marketing techniques. Ultimately the success of any approach for combating zinc deficiency depends on strong advocacy, top level commitment, a stable infrastructure, long term financial support and the capacity to control quality and monitor and enforce compliance at the national or regional level. To be cost effective, costs for these strategies must be shared by industry, government, donors and consumers.
To investigate food sources and intakes of iron, and dietary factors associated with serum ferritin levels in 6–24-month-old children.
A cross-sectional survey employing proportionate cluster sampling was conducted in 1998/1999. Dietary intakes were assessed using a non-consecutive 3-day weighed food record. Serum ferritin and C-reactive protein were analysed from non-fasting venepuncture blood samples and general sociodemographic data were collected.
Cities of Christchurch, Dunedin and Invercargill, New Zealand.
Randomly selected healthy 6–24-month-old non-breast-feeding children (n=226).
Total iron intakes (±standard deviation (SD)) among non-breast-feeding infants (<12 months old; n=42) and toddlers (≥12 months old; n=184) were 8.4±2.9 mg day−1 and 5.0±2.5 mg day−1, respectively. Fifteen per cent of infants and 66% of toddlers were at risk of inadequate iron intakes. Main sources of dietary iron were infant formula (60%) for infants and cereals (31%) for toddlers. Meat contributed on average 2% and 10% of dietary iron in the infant and toddler diets, respectively. Dietary factors positively associated with serum ferritin were intakes of iron and vitamin C, whereas intakes of calcium and dietary fibre were negatively associated. For each 1% increase in percentage of energy from iron-fortified formula concomitant with a 1% decrease from dairy products, there was a 4.2% increased odds of replete iron stores (ferritin ≥20 μg l−1).
Toddlers were at higher risk of sub-optimal iron intakes than infants. Results suggest that a diet high in bioavailable iron is important for optimising the iron stores of young children in New Zealand.