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The paper reviews methods, and their difficulties, in the measurement of the daily energy expenditure of rural women under field conditions in developing countries. Since all methods need to be validated against a reference method which is usually based on indirect calorimetry, examples of the use of this technique are given. The energy costs of most agricultural and daily tasks of rural women in developing countries have been measured. Large intra- and inter-individual variations in the cost of a single activity occur, so repeated measurements are needed to obtain a valid mean energy cost for a specific activity for a homogeneous group of individuals.
Much work remains to be done on the assessment of the duration and the intensity of the physical activity of the rural adolescent and adult female population. Studies indicate that the workload of most rural women in developing countries is excessive and frequently associated with acute poverty.
Leptosphaeria maculans (anamorph Phoma lingam), the ascomycete causing stem canker of crucifers, is a species complex that can be separated into at least seven distinct subgroups using a combination of biochemical and molecular criteria. In the present study sequences of the entire ITS region, including the 5.8S rDNA, of 38 isolates representing the seven subgroups, along with specimens from culture collections, were analysed, compared to those of closely related Leptosphaeria species, and the phylogeny inferred using parsimony and distance analyses. A well-supported clade encompassed all isolates of the seven subgroups along with L. conferta, a known saprobe of dried crucifer stems. The L. maculans isolates were further separated into two well-supported clades corresponding to L. maculans s. str. and the recently named L. biglobosa. Parsimony and distance analyses further separated groups within both species, usually corresponding to specific host plants or geographic origin, e.g. L. maculans ‘brassicae’ from cultivated Brassica, L. maculans ‘lepidii’, from Lepidium sp., L. biglobosa ‘brassicae’, from various Brassica species, L. biglobosa ‘thlaspii’ from Thlaspi arvense, L. biglobosa ‘erysimii’ from Erysimum sp., and L. biglobosa ‘canadensis’ mostly found in central Canada. The oldest L. maculans specimens maintained in international collections clustered with either L. maculans ‘brassicae’, L. biglobosa ‘brassicae’, or a still different group closely related to L. biglobosa ‘thlaspii’. The evolutionary relationships between the seven infraspecific groups are discussed in terms of phytopathological relevance and species isolation linked with specific life cycle, geographic isolation or host specificity.
Vitamin A status of 260 groups of twenty-five males or twenty-five females, aged 35–64 years, surveyed in twenty-four provinces of the People's Republic of China, was assessed by measuring plasma retinol, retinol-binding protein and β-carotene concentrations. Direct measurements of food intake over a 3 d period and questionnaire data on the frequency of consumption of vegetables, fruit, animal products and other dietary items were also used. Vitamin A status appeared to be low only in specific counties but in general was satisfactory or only marginally deficient. Plasma harotene levels were strikingly low in comparison with Western levels despite generous vegetable consumption suggwg that intake of vitamin A precursors may have been adequate but not abundant enough to maintain high circulating plasma levels of β-carotene. Plasma β-carotene, for both males and females, was significantly correlated with the frequency of consumption of green vegetables. Plasma retinol, for males, was highly correlated with meat, fish, oil and alcohol consumption expresPed both in quantity or frequency of consumption. Higher levels of plasma retinol, together with lower levels of plasma β-carotene in males compared with females, suggest that men consume more animal products or may have higher retinol requirements and therefore a higher rate of conversion of β-carotene to retinol.
1. The energy balance of eleven male and fourteen female adult farmers was measured for 6 d after the harvest, in December-January. Their energy intake was recorded by weighing their food consumption and their energy expenditure was determined using indirect calorimetry.
2. Body-weight, expressed as percentage of expected weight-for-height was 91 and 86% of the Inter-departmental Committee on Nutrition for National Development (1963) standard for women and men respectively.
3. The staple foods were sorghum (Sorghum vulgare) and millet (Pennisetum typhoïdes); carbohydrates, fat and protein supplied approximately 80, 13 and 12% of the total energy of the diet respectively.
4. In the male group, the mean energy intake (9.0 MJ (2148 kcal)) was in good agreement with the average energy output (8.91 MJ (2130 kcal)). By contrast, in the female group, the mean energy expenditure (8.11 MJ (1941 kcal)) exceeded the mean energy intake (6.3 MJ (1515 kcal)) and the deficit was statistically significant.
5. This study allows an evaluation of the adequacy of food intake for subjects living in a particular hostile environment, by using their actual energy output instead of current standard values. The energy deficit found for female farmers whose energy intake was similar to that reported in other developing countries emphasizes the need for a better understanding of the regulation of energy balance in such conditions.
1. Thirty Mossi male farmers from Upper-Volta were investigated, twenty-three in the dry season (March-April) and sixteen in the rainy season (July-August), eight of them being studied twice. A 48 htime-and-motion study was carried out and the daily energy expenditure was computed.
2. The mean height was 1.70 m and the mean weight 58.5 kg. The average percentage of body fat calculated from skinfold thickness was 10.
3. During the dry season the subjects could be classified as very moderately active with an energy output of 10.1 MJ (2410 kcal)/d. By contrast, with an energy expenditure of 14.4 MJ (3460 kcal)/d, they were considered as exceptionally active in July-August when performing the agricultural work.
4. In this study we measured the intensity of physical work in a society where human labour is still the main tool of production. The determination of seasonal variations in energy expenditure may be useful to assess the nutritional requirements in arid zones of West Africa.
1.Fifteen female farmers (aged 18–47 years) from two villages of the Mossi Plateau in Upper-Volta participated in a survey in which their daily activity pattern and their energy expenditure were assessed. Eight of the subjects were investigated twice, in March (dry season) when there is no agricultural activity, and in July–August (rainy season) when heavy physical work is performed: mostly hoeing, weeding and replanting sorghum (Sorghum vulgare) and millet (Pennisetum typhoïdes).
2. The mean height was 1.57 m and the mean weight 50.6 kg. The average percentage of body fat, calculated from skinfold thickness, was comparable to that of European females but the triceps skinfold was more than 60% below the standard value (Jelliffe, 1969). The type of activities and the period of time spent on each activity changed significantly with the season. The mean energy output rose from 9.7 MJ (2320 kcal) in March to 12.1 MJ (2890 kcal) in July–August for a 55 kg standard weight.
3. In this paper, the extent of both the dally activity pattern of women living in a subsistence agriculture and their energy output is estimated. The results suggest that during the rainy season, the energy requirements of female farmers are much higher than usually estimated.
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