Nutrition and Work Performance

  • Fernando E. Viteri


Intuitively, one accepts the hypothesis that optimal work performance and socioeconomic function require adequate nutrition and that, consequently, an altered nutritional status should result in some impairment of those complex human endeavors. Data and many observations are available that demonstrate clearly that severe nutritional deficiencies and excesses can seriously hamper work performance and social function. However, these extremes, which are actually disease states, must be treated as such, and, if they are abundant within a social group, emergency actions must be established to prevent death (i.e., interventions in famine situations). Work performance under these circumstances becomes a secondary matter. The questions that I believe need answers from the nutrition policy planner’s point of view, and that are directed toward facilitating the elaboration and implementation of policies, concern population groups defined as mild to moderately undernourished. I will address the subject from the standpoint of undernutrition, recognizing that the consquences of overnutrition (such as early establishment of obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease) may be as serious in terms of work performance and productivity as those afflicting undernourished populations.


Sugar Cane Energy Intake Lean Body Mass Work Performance Maximal Aerobic Power 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fernando E. Viteri
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Human Nutrition and BiologyInstitute of Nutrition of Central America and Panama (INCAP)Guatemala CityGuatemala

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