South African Medical Journal

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Dietary Patterns in Urbanised Blacks: A study in Guguletu, Cape Town, 1971

EB Manning, JI Mann, E Sophangisa, AS Truswell


A survey of dietary patterns was made in Guguletu, an urban Black township near Cape Town. The subjects comprised Black children and adults eating adult-type food. They were divided into 5 groups-3 groups of families according to income (well-to-do, medium and poor), one group of bachelors and one group recently removed from the coastal district of Simonstown. Dietary patterns were studied quantitatively and qualitatively. A computerised food table was compiled for obtaining data on the intake of 28 nutrients by families and individuals, per week and per day. Qualitative data were provided by respondents interviewed in their homes and bachelor quarters. Interviews included questions on taboos, cooking methods and meal patterns, as well as daily food intake and weekly purchasing. Transition from rural to urban living brings about a taste for sophisticated 'town foods' but the basic anthropological predilection for c'arbohydrate remains unchanged, and meat was found to be the most valued food. Fat consumption increases in an urban community. Total food consumption was inversely related to family size, the highest calorie intake being noted among the bachelors. Riboflavin intake fell short of the National Research Council's recommended daily allowances as did niacin, tryptophan and calcium. The dietary pattern developing in an urban Black township clearly needs modification to ensure adequate nutrient intake and to prevent destruction of nutrients by faulty cooking methods.

S. Afr. Med. J., 48, 485 (1974)

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