By Richard C. Holcomb, M.D., F.A.C.S., Captain, Medical Corps, U. S. Navy, Retired. With Introduction by C. S. Butler, A.B., M.D., Li.D., Rear Admiral, Medical Corps, U. S. Navy. Pp. 1-189. Froben Press. New York. 1937
This is a translation by Gerhard Fuhrmann of a book which originally appeared as “Nutrition in Tropical Countries” (Oxford University Press, 1963). This is a neat and concise summary of the general aspects of nutrition and the consequences of poor nutrition, with detailed descriptions of kwashiorkor and marasmus. The author provides a general discussion of the problems involved in increasing food production in tropical lands in terms of agricultural practices and animal husbandry, followed by brief analyses of the situation of the major tropical crops.
As long as the general level of agricultural production and public health were equally low, a sort of balance between food and population was maintained by the high death rate of children. But with advances in public health and the consequent lowering of mortality due to infectious diseases, population increase is outstripping improvements in food production, hence the problem in underdeveloped areas, many of which are tropical countries.