The Mechanism of Agriculture and Health Exploration of Links Between Agricultural Practice and Human Nutrition in Rural China




Campos-Bower, Monica Haydee


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Campos-Bower, Monica Haydee, The mechanism of agriculture and health-Exploration of links between agricultural practice and human nutrition in rural China Doctor of Public Health (Health Management and Policy), May 2008, 73 pp, 9 Tables, 5 Figures, bibliography, 23 titles. Health consequences of nutritional deficiencies remain a concern for more than half of the global population. Agriculture improvement has helped to alleviate nutritional deficiencies, especially among the rural developing world, where populations are more susceptible. In China, approximately 80% of the population lives in rural areas with close to 40% suffering from at least one nutrient deficiency. Current agricultural development projects in China are geared toward enhancing crop nutrition, but more research is needed to determine the relationship between food practices, agricultural diversity and the nutritional health in rural areas. The purpose of this research was to evaluate the direct relationship of agriculture on human health through assessment of agricultural practices and agricultural policy on human health symptoms in rural populations in China. A comparative study was performed on data from the University of North Carolina Population Center-China Health and Nutrition Survey (CHNS) and a case study based on field research in western China. The study demonstrated relationships between agricultural practices with human health symptoms. In addition, agricultural and environmental policies adopted in rural areas did impact ability to engage in agricultural practices as well as diet and human activity among rural households. Future agricultural and environmental policies should consider repercussions of policy effects on community social infrastructure, economy and health and create measures to address these issues.