New study from the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization and Mayo Clinic sets the stage for future nutritional research throughout the world

October 25, 2001

ROCHESTER, Minn. -- A new study, which found that women in a population center of western Africa need more energy than men based on their work burden, sets the stage for development of a model to research nutritional needs of women throughout the world. Mayo Clinic participated in the study led by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The study appears in the Oct. 26 issue of Science.

The study focuses on the work burden of women on the Ivory Coast (Côte d'Ivoire) in Africa. The research determined how work energy is distributed in this population during a part of the agricultural year.

The study found that women performed all the domestic tasks as well as working in agriculture; men worked only in agriculture. As a result, during the season studied, the women worked two to three hours more per day than men and so needed 30 percent more energy than had been thought previously.

Researchers observed the work practices of 1,787 women and 1,565 men over a seven-day period in the Northern Savane, West Forest, and East Forest regions of Côte d'Ivoire, which is among the world's largest producers and exporters of coffee, cocoa beans and palm oil.

The study encompassed a full range of agricultural activities, including hunting, crop tending, harvesting, food gathering, tree felling, sowing, planting and land clearing.

"This study will provide an ongoing model to research nutritional needs of people in other countries, particularly in the Third World," says James Levine, M.D., a Mayo Clinic endocrinologist.

"With research such as this, we hope to have a better understanding of the nutrition needs of people in specific regions of the world, paving the way to alter economic and nutritional support," says Barbara Burlingame, Ph.D., senior nutrition officer in FAO's Food and Nutrition Division.

"Results such as these assist in determining the energy requirements of women and are used in reviews such as the Joint FAO/WHO/UNU Expert Consultation on Energy in Human Nutrition which is presently meeting in Rome," says Robert Weisell, Ph.D., FAO nutrition officer.

FAO estimates that 815 million individuals throughout the world experience inadequate nutrition and an insufficient food supply.
FAO is one of the largest specialized agencies in the United Nations system and the lead agency for nutrition, agriculture, forestry, fisheries and rural development. An intergovernmental organization, the agency has 179 member countries plus one member organization, the European Community.

The United Nations is central to global efforts to solve problems that challenge humanity. FAO was founded in 1945 with a mandate to raise levels of nutrition and standards of living, to improve agricultural productivity and to better the condition of rural populations.

The article, "The Work Burden of Women" will be available at on Friday, Oct. 26, 2001 or by calling 202-326-6440.

For further information and news releases from FAO, please visit the FAO Web site at

Mayo Clinic

Related Nutrition Articles from Brightsurf:

Here's how to improve packaged foods nutrition
FOP nutrition labeling results in a significant improvement in the nutritional quality of food products.

'Front of package' nutrition labels improved nutrition quality
A new study analyzing 16 years of data on tens of thousands of products finds that the adoption of nutrition data on ''front of package'' labels is associated with improved nutritional content of those foods and their competitors.

Aquaculture's role in nutrition in the COVID-19 era
A new paper from American University examines the economics of an aquaculture industry of the future that is simultaneously environmentally sustainable and nutritious for the nearly 1 billion people worldwide who depend on it.

Fathers are more likely to be referred for nutrition or exercise counseling
Fatherhood status has been linked to medical providers' weight-related practices or counseling referrals.

Refugee children get better health, nutrition via e-vouchers
Electronic food vouchers provided young Rohingya children in Bangladeshi refugee camps with better health and nutrition than direct food assistance, according to new research led by Cornell University, in conjunction with the International Food Policy Research Institute.

Leaders call for 'Moonshot' on nutrition research
Leading nutrition and food policy experts outline a bold case for strengthening federal nutrition research in a live interactive session as part of NUTRITION 2020 LIVE ONLINE, a virtual conference hosted by the American Society for Nutrition (ASN).

Featured research from NUTRITION 2020 LIVE ONLINE
Press materials are now available for NUTRITION 2020 LIVE ONLINE, a dynamic virtual event showcasing new research findings and timely discussions on food and nutrition.

Diet, nutrition have profound effects on gut microbiome
A new literature review from scientists at George Washington University and the National Institute of Standards and Technology suggests that nutrition and diet have a profound impact on the microbial composition of the gut.

Are women getting adequate nutrition during preconception and pregnancy?
In a Maternal & Child Nutrition analysis of published studies on the dietary habits of women who were trying to conceive or were pregnant, most studies indicated that women do not meet nutritional recommendations for vegetable, cereal grain, or folate intake.

Supermarkets and child nutrition in Africa
Hunger and undernutrition are widespread problems in Africa. At the same time, overweight, obesity, and related chronic diseases are also on the rise.

Read More: Nutrition News and Nutrition Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to