Nutrition-related disorders, including vitamin A deficiency (VAD) and chronic diseases, are serious problems in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM). Many suggest that these disorders are new problems related to dietary and lifestyle changes. In the past four decades, imported foods, such as white rice, flour, sugar, refined foods and fatty meats, have increasingly replaced local foods in the diet.
A literature review was conducted to understand underlying issues related to dietary change and obtain insights for nutrition research and interventions.
Published and unpublished papers from different disciplines were reviewed and collated for information on food and nutrition in FSM. Topics covered were historical background, local foods, infant and child feeding, dietary assessment, and nutritional status. Particular focus was on information and data relating to VAD, the primary topic that led to the review of the literature.
FSM, a tropical country of abundant agricultural resources, has suffered a great loss in production and consumption of local foods. Inconsistent external and internal government policies and food aid programmes have contributed to the problem. Further research on the nutrient content of local foods and factors affecting production, acquisition and consumption is needed, as well as a broad, well-planned, intersectoral intervention aimed at dietary improvement for all age groups in the population.
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