ContentsForeword by IAEA Director General Hans Blix
In the public at large, few people are aware that
the work of the International Atomic Energy Agency extends beyond the realms
of nuclear power and safeguarding against the misuse of radioactive materials.
Indeed, for many years now IAEA has been applying isotopic and other techniques
in a vast array of global scientific challenges - from controlling marine
pollution and understanding climate change to boosting livestock production.
One of the potentially most fruitful areas for new health-related applications
of isotope techniques is in the field of human nutrition. Agency activities
in Human Health, as well as in Technical Co-operation, include a new emphasis
on isotope techniques as tools to evaluate human nutritional status and
the nutritional quality of foods within the context of national development
programmes. These techniques are now considered the best methods for measuring
the uptake and bioavailability of may important vitamins and minerals. They
are thus well suited for determining the success of food supplementation
programmes and other interventions aimed at combating many forms of malnutrition.
This booklet provides a brief description of pioneering Agency-supported work to evaluate vitamin A and iron deficiencies, bone disease, undernutrition and obesity and the special nutritional requriemtns of pregnant and lactating women and their children.