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Energy intake and activity. Edited by E. Pollitt and P. Amante. New York Alan R. Liss. 1984. xiii + 418 pp. figures tables references index. $58

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which have a central area and a well-developed retinal fovea with both rods and cones,
Tarsius has a central area with a variably
poorly developed fovea in a pure rod retina,
as seen a t least in Galago senegalensis and
G. crassicaudatus.
Brown body fat, the “interscapular hibernating gland” of various mammals, is a thermoregulatory tissue (Niemitz, Klauer, and
Eins). Its presence in Tarsius is consistent
with the animal’s circadian rhythm of body
temperature, which drops at night, creating
the state of torpor noted in animals artificially awakened (Niemitz). The lower nighttime body temperature makes sense in terms
of the tarsier’s exclusive insectivory, which
makes for a periless energy balance, which,
in turn, is probably why Tarsius has only
one offspring a year, and it is probably also
the reason the sleeping animal is undetected
by snakes (ibid.).
Space does not permit me to review every
chapter, but I should say that no chapter is
Edited by E.
Pollitt and P. Amante. New York: Alan R.
Liss. 1984. xiii + 418 pp., figures, tables,
references, index. $58.00 (cloth).
out of place or below standard. There is, however, a n overabundance of typos and other
errors, and the type and format make reading a bit difficult. Since the volume was published in English, someone should have
edited it to read more smoothly, instead of as
a bad translation. But, even with these comments, I would still have recommended
wholeheartedly the volume were it not for
the frontispiece illustration, which depicts a
tarsier in the arms of a young woman. Without going into detail, suffice it to say that it
is sexist and tasteless and certainly unbecoming of a n academic publication.
Department of Anthropology
University of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Institutes of Nutrition; and academic disciplines in both the biological and social sciences-anthropology, nutrition, psychology,
physiology, pediatrics, public health, child
and family development, and economics.
“Either our concepts and understanding
The volume, number 11in the Current Top
are wrong or the data are wrong.” This quote, ics in Nutrition and Disease series, is orgataken from Beaton’s commentary in the last nized into conceptual, methodological, field
chapter of Energy Intake and Activity, sets study, and consequences sections. There is
forth one of the principal issues addressed in some overlapping and duplication in the
this volume. That issue is how to reconcile chapters but the different disciplinary perdietary intake and energy expenditure mea- spectives of the contributors come through
surements that seem to suggest that some more clearly than the repetition.
populations are barely meeting resting metThe first three chapters question the validabolic requirements yet their members are ity of current views concerning energy balworking, getting pregnant, bearing off- ance in populations. Prentice, basing his
spring, and nursing these offspring rela- discussion on a study of pregnant and lactattively successfully.
ing, affluent women in Great Britain and
This and other issues relating to physical women in similar physiologic conditions but
activity and energy balance were the focus of poor and rural in The Gambia, is struck by
a workshop organized by the International the apparent low levels of dietary intake of
Union of Nutritional Sciences’ Committee the latter. In spite of this the Gambian
111/2 on Nutrition and Behavior. Thirty-one women maintain reasonable pregnancy and
participants attended the workshop in May lactation outcomes plus apparently high lev1983. These participants represented nine els of physical activity. Prentice specifically
different nations; international organiza- argues that errors of measurement cannot
tions such as the World Bank and the Pan account for the paradox and he concludes
American Health Organization; six national that natural selection has led to a n evolu-
tionary adaptation among these women that
fosters higher metabolic efficiency in the face
of low energy intakes.
Adair describes essentially the same problem in her study of Taiwanese mothers with
marginal intakes. She regards these women
as well adapted to their energy intakes and
she calls for new hypotheses that will attempt to account for the energy balance
mechanisms of marginally nourished populations. Margen attempts one response to
Adair’s call with a discussion of what he
terms “auto-regulatory processes to maintain energy balance.” He sees these as homeostatic mechanisms that vary the efficiency of metabolic processes depending on
energy intakes. Obviously if such mechanisms exists they have vast implications for
the kinds of studies reported in this volume.
The next group of chapters considers methodologies for studying energy balance or activity level in adults or children. Both FerroLuzzi and Durnin argue that apparent problems in energy balance studies stem from
errors of measurement. Intraindividual variability, survey techniques, imprecise measurement techniques, and short-term studies
as opposed to long-term, repeated measures
designs are all implicated. Durnin concludes
on a pessimistic note, saying, “energy expenditure measurements, as they are carried
out a t present, can be of little assistance in
assessing energy balance under free-living
conditions.” So much for the need for new
concepts and hypotheses regarding energy
Horton contributes a review of methodologies for assessing physical activity in adults
under laboratory conditions and Brun does
essentially the same thing for methodologies
appropriate to studying adults in free-living
situations. The chapters by Torun and by
Halverson and Post-Gordon review methodologies for studying activity levels in children. One might expect that these chapters
would be repetitive but they provide an excellent comparison of the very different literatures of human physiology and child
development focused on the same phenomenon-measuring the activity level of children. Halverson and Post-Gordon would like
to see norms of physical activity developed
for children of different ages to aid in the
diagnosis of activity disturbances.
The next five chapters describe field studies that attempt to relate physical activity,
productivity, and energy metabolism. Spurr
concludes from his studies of Columbian cane
cutters that in hard physical work, poor nutritional status will reduce productivity.
Reina and Spurr are unable to document expected differences in energy expenditure between nutritionally normal and marginally
malnourished school-aged girls in Colombia
and they account for this by implicating
“peer pressure to keep up” with the activities of the group. Malina provides a review
of the literature relating nutritional status
and physical activity.
One of the more disturbing chapters in this
book is that of Chavez and Martinez, which
reviews their studies of nutritional status
and activity levels in very young children in
Mexico. They argue that malnutrition depresses activity and that in turn isolates the
child from environmental contact-mother,
family and other sources of stimuli. “A small
child, weak and asleep most of the time, to
whom virtually no one talks, and with whom
almost no one plays, can hardly be expected
to achieve optimum development of his abilities” is their ominous conclusion. Salzarulo
follows with a brief discussion of regulation
of waking-sleeping cycles in young children.
The remaining chapters consider a variety
of issues from separate disciplinary approaches. Sameroff and McDonough discuss
the role of motor activity in cognitive and
social development and they conclude that it
is the impoverished environment of the child
that affects its later behavior, not the malnutrition per se. Immink et al. note the relative lack of attention that has been paid to
the economic costs of energy deficiencies and
Reutlinger provides a very interesting consideration of the policy implications of current concern over inadequate intakes in
many parts of the world. He wants cost-benefit analyses of public intervention programs
to be undertaken. Beaton’s commentary, particularly focusing on the beginning chapter
by Prentice, concludes the volume. He asks
the provocative question, “What are the human costs of accomodation to low energy
The reader of Energy Intake and Activity
will realize that there is no consensus as to
whether data or concepts of energy balance
in human populations are in error. Perhaps
there is some of each. This volume should
enjoy a broad readership not only among anthropologists of every stripe but also among
the disciplines represented by its contributors. Policy makers should also find it of in-
terest if only to make them aware of what is
known and what is uncertain in the debates
over energy intake and expenditure and their
anticipated balance or imbalance. This book
presents a highly readable and current presentation of our state of knowledge. Its topic
will doubtless be of increasing not decreasing
concern in a n era of economic slowdown and
rising debt levels in the very countries that
need to be addressing critical levels of dietary intakes among their population.
N. Cameron. Dobbs Ferry, NY: Sheridan
House. 1984. 182 pp., figures, tables, references, index. $32.50 (cloth).
measurement reliability. This chapter is a
useful and clear presentation for the beginner and a quick reference for more experienced investigators. What is especially
valuable in Chapter five is the inclusion of
reliability data so that the novice has some
yard or meter stick against which to compare
his measurement errors. Chapters four and
five are the most important chapters in the
Chapters six and seven present topics that
may not be entirely related to the rest of the
text but are necessary for a complete assessment of growth. Chapter six is a short but
complete discussion of the Greulich-Pyle,
TW2, and RWT methods of determining skeletal age and of the Bailey-Pinneau, RWT,
and Tanner-Whitehouse methods for stature
prediction. Not only are the samples and theories behind each of these different methods
presented, but there is also a statement as to
how to use each method properly. This is
important for the Greulich-Pyle method,
which is frequently used incorrectly as a picture book against which one matches the
entire radiograph. Chapter seven includes a
brief discussion of photographic techniques
for assessing somatotype and sterophotogrammetry.
Chapter eight is a chapter with which
many experienced investigators may find
fault, owing primarily to personal habits.
However, for the novice investigator, this is
a very useful chapter. Dr. Cameron has outlined the steps needed for a short but complete experiment. This includes the personnel
that are needed, their duties, recording
forms, data entry, data editing, analysis, and
This book is easy to read and should be
considered a n essential purchase by students
interested in human growth. The experienced investigator will also find the book
Noel Cameron has taken his chapter, “The
Methods of Auxological Anthropometry,”
from Volume 2 of Human Growth by Falkner
and Tanner and expanded it into a n excellent
booklet of eight chapters. Chapter one is a
brief discussion of the history of anthropometry. The second chapter is a presentation
and discussion of a very complete list of anthropometric equipment, which should be
read by those who are considering the acquisition of new instruments. Dr. Cameron gives
both the pros and cons of current equipment
and the drawbacks of making some of these
oneself. The third chapter will be the most
boring to the experienced anthropometrist,
but essential to the novice. In that chapter,
Dr. Cameron details the numerous body surface and bony landmarks vital for the proper
collection of accurate anthropometric data.
Chapters four and five form the core of the
text. In Chapter four, Dr. Cameron presents
detailed descriptions of 48 different body
measurements. In general, these descriptions are very clearly written. Included in
each measurement technique discussion are
how to locate the proper body landmarks, the
best method of holding the equipment, and
how the observer should position and address
the subject. For several of the measurements,
there are also accompanying photographs.
However, in more than one instance, the visual and written descriptions for a measurement differ. It is difficult to take photographs
that show proper measurement technique,
but in several of the photographs the problem does not appear to have been incorrect
camera angles. Chapter five appropriately
follows Chapter four with a discussion of
Department of Anthropology
Indiana University
Btoomington, Indiana
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figuren, amante, xiii, pollitt, 1984, liss, references, energy, index, new, york, intake, activity, edited, tablet, 418, alan
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