Nutrition and Well-Being A-Z (Two Vol. Set)

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9780028657073: Nutrition and Well-Being A-Z (Two Vol. Set)

More so than for nearly any other topic, the pendulum of opinion on nutrition swings from one extreme to another. Just a few years ago the U.S. government-issued food pyramid promoted carbohydrate-rich grains over protein. Recently, the Adkins diet proposes a lowcarb regimen that includes steak and eggs breakfasts. Where can the student in health class and general reader turn for accurate, dependable, fad-free information? This two-volume reference examines the relationship between food and health on a historical, national, and personal level. It analyzes how nutrition has affected quality of life, health, and fitness in various countries at different times in history. The work looks at the connections between diet and such diseases as beriberi and scurvy, and the role nutrition plays in conditions such as weight and height increases, diabetes, and obesity. Historical as well as contemporary methods of treatment are presented from an international viewpoint. Dietary trends within various cultures are also covered, ranging from the consumption habits of Asian Americans to those of Central Europe to those customary of Pacific Islanders. National Academy of Sciences, and the World Health Organization complete this world guide to health and nutrition.

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From Booklist:

The 250 signed entries that fill these volumes range between a paragraph and four pages in length and contain bibliographies. The outside margins of the text are very wide, allowing terms and phrases used in individual entries to be defined. In the entry Fast foods, for example, the reader will find the following terms in bold: fast food, Americanized, fat, fiber, vitamin, mineral, calorie. In the adjacent margin all terms are briefly defined--just enough for the entry to become understandable. See also references point to other related topics, such as Convenience foods; Dietary trends, American; and Dietary trends, international.

Black-and-white illustrations are liberally dispersed throughout the pages. They include well-labeled graphs and charts as well as photographs and diagrams. Entries such as Famine, Food insecurity, Malnutrition, and Refugee Nutrition Information System (RNIS) include disturbing but most appropriate photographs. Haunting images of the faces of starving youngsters carry information to the reader in ways that words cannot.

To keep volume juggling at a minimum, each of the two volumes contains an identical table of contents, topical outline, index, and glossary. Also repeated is the reference section, which includes such information as a metric conversion table, the age-type Food Guide Pyramids, and the Body Mass Index (BMI) Table.

Although the emphasis is on North America, the scope is international, including dietary descriptions, histories, and challenges for Africans, Asians, and Scandinavians, among others. This is a good overview tool for personalities associated with nutrition, such as early vitamin researcher Casimir Funk and "King of the Road" Howard Deering Johnson. It is also a good source for information on current topics, such as Glycemic index, the potentially deadly Female athlete triad, and Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids (although information on trans fats is curiously difficult to find).

The set would be valuable as an introductory or overview tool in public libraries. In high-school libraries, it will serve as a source of solid information as well as a reliable antidote for report-writers' block. Scottie Wallace
Copyright American Library Association. All rights reserved

From School Library Journal:

Grade 9 Up–A no-nonsense, comprehensive encyclopedia that will be of use to students researching health and food-science topics. The set examines a variety of subjects such as "Antioxidants," "Appetite," "Fats," "Malnutrition," "Soy," and "Organic Foods." The food pyramid is clearly explained and food labels are deciphered line by line. Related topics include diseases that are associated with nutrition, such as osteoporosis and rickets, and health organizations. A global perspective is maintained throughout the work, with articles provided on the diets of geographic and ethnic groups worldwide. The authoritative entries are concise, if a little dry. Nutrition terminology is defined in the margins and included in the glossary. Average-quality, black-and-white photographs lend only slight visual appeal, but generally add information. Frequent graphs, tables, and sidebars supplement the text with more specific or esoteric material. The index has occasional lapses. The more appealing Encyclopedia of Foods (Academic, 2001) takes a less-clinical approach to its topic; it has color photos and contains practical advice on meal planning and preparation. Nutrition's straightforward coverage offers more information on disease and government oversight.–Joyce Adams Burner, Hillcrest Library, Prairie Village, KS
Copyright Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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