CHANGING FOOD HABITS IN
EAST AFRICA IN RECENT
DECADES
V Raschke1, I Elmadfa1, M L Wahlqvist2, U Oltersdorf3
1 Institute
of Nutritional Sciences of the University of Vienna, Austria;
2 Asia Pacific Health & Nutrition Centre Monash Asia Institute Monash
University Victoria, Australia;
3 Federal Research Centre for Nutrition and Food Location Karlsruhe,
Germany;
Introduction
There is only scattered scientific evidence
about changes of traditional food habits to
westernized diets in Africa. Baseline
empirical data is lacking and precise data
are still difficult to collect.1
To achieve and maintain good health
people must have basic knowledge about
the importance of proper food habits for
their health.
Aim
•
•
•
Is it possible to raise awarness of the
importance of African food cultures through
providing base line data on the web?
This project is going provide a reference point
for future research via a web site on “African
Food Cultures” as an effort to further stimulate
appropriate Food Habits research in Africa;
An online questionnaire is going to evaluate
people’s knowledge and opinion about
traditional African Food Cultures;
Methods
– This project is based on a precious and unique collection of
literature and data from East Africa in the 1970ties, which
document relevant scientific literature in different disciplines (e.g.
Anthropology, Human Nutrition; Food Habit Studies, etc.);
These unpuplished data have been stored at the Univeristy of
Karlsruhe (Germany) for the last 30 years, after the Max Planck
Reasearch Unit in “Tanganyika” (German East Africa) was shut
down in the 1970ties;
– Through my PhD I have been given the exciting opportunity to
analyse the literature and dataset and make it available to the
public via the internet.
– A Questionaire during this conference will assess your thoughts
about the development of a web site on FOOD HABITS IN
AFRICA and wheter it could be of future importance. You are
welcomed to show your interest!
Results
• This “work in progress” is a
multidisciplinary approach
designed to obtain
qualitative information on
food habits in Africa over
the web entered via the
healthyeatingclub website
http://www.healthyeatingclu
b.com/
• Example for obtained data
on East Africa (1960ties):
Results of 2 dietary surveys
among 2 Kenyan tribes
(Figure 1)
Figure 1. a-nnDietary surveys, 1-51Nutritional status
surveys, carried out in East Africa during the
1970ties
Table 1. Dietary survey information
Kikuyu
Calorie consumption
Luo
3000
2000
Dates of
Survey
Calories
Sample size
31.05.1965-
04.10.1965-
07.06.1965
11.10.1965
142
1000
0
Kikuyu
Tribes
116
21 families
Luo
21 families
Distribution of calorie s Kikuyu tribe
Table 3. Typical menu for Nyanza
region; Luo tribe
11%
9%
Prot ein
Fat
Early
morning
Uji (gruel made from
maize or millet)
Carbohydrat es
or Tea
80%
Distribution of calorie s Luo tribe
Midday
Ugali (stiff maize or
millet mixture) and
12%
green vegetables
9%
Evening
79%
Ugali and fish stew
Table 2. Average nutrient consumption
Tribe
Kikuyu
Luo
Main food source
Protein
48 g
Cereals
Calcium
259 mg
Fruit & Vegetable
Iron
17 mg
Cereals
Vitamin A
1583 I.U.
Fruit & Vegetable
Thiamine
1,4 mg
Cereals
Riboflavin
0,84 mg
Fruit & Vegetable
Vitamin C
130 mg
Fruit & Vegetable
Protein
73 g
Cereals, Fish
Calcium
987 mg
Animal food
Iron
27 mg
Cereals
Vitamin A
1305 I.U.
Fruit & Vegetable
Thiamine
1,8 mg
Cereals
Riboflavin
0,9 mg
Fruit & Vegetable
Vitamin C
87 mg
Fruit & Vegetable
Conclusion
A website on African Food cultures should
be of enormous benefit to Human
Development in Africa and elsewhere.
References
1. Oniango R K: Food habits in Kenya: The effects of change and attendant methodological problems.
Appetite 1999; 32:93-96.
2. Bohdal M, Gibbs N E, et al. (1964-1968). Nutrition survey and campaign against malnutrition in
Kenya, Ministry of Health Kenya.
•
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CHANGING FOOD HABITS IN EAST AFRICA IN RECENT