Tropical Nutrition and Dietetics

by Lucius Nicholls, M.D., Director, Division of Nutrition, Ceylon; Nutrition Adviser to Commissioner-General, South East Asia. 3rd edition: 476 pp., illustrated. London: Balliere, Tindall & Cox; Baltimore, The Williams & Wilkins Co., 1951. $6.00, 42/

Nevin S. Scrimshaw
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This latest edition of a book first published in 1938 “primarily for medical men who work among the masses in the tropics” contains clearly presented information which the author obviously knows from first-hand experience and in which he is vitally interested. It includes several valuable chapters regarding the identification and classification of tropical foodstuffs, the processing and preparation of food, food poisoning and the control of insect pests in cereals—information not ordinarily available in general books on nutrition. A thirteen-page food composition table includes many exotic tropical foods. The chapter on disorders of malnutrition emphasizes the multiple and interrelated nature of most deficiency syndromes.

In discussing dietary requirements he points out the danger of “urging the use of foodstuffs which are nutritionally desirable but economically impossible” and shows how “good growth and health may be obtained on far cheaper diets when most of the foodstuffs are of vegetable origin.”