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GLOBAL HEALTH CASE STUDY - BHIL

BHIL, TRIBE OF DANG DISTRICT, GUJURAT, WESTERN INDIA

Community Food System Data Tables

Introduction

Map showing location of of BhilThis field study was carried out in the Dang district of the State of Gujarat, Western India (Figure 1), where 187 households from the Bhil tribe were interviewed with the aim of gathering information on their dietary intake and traditional food habits.

The study team was comprised of the following:

  • Gopa Kothari, Director of the Child Eye Care Charitable Trust, Mumba; one of the principal investigators for this project;
  • Lalita Bhattacharjee, Nutrition Consultant for the FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, Bangkok; one of the principal investigators for this project;
  • Vidya Ramaswamy, Dietitian, from SNDT University, Mumbai; collaborated with Dr Bhattacharjee for the nutritional analysis of this project.;
  • Menaka Subramaniam, Social researcher, a post graduate from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai; assisted with the data collection and focus group discussions;
  • Motiram and Ghotubhai, field workers, employed as organizers for the villages as part of the Child Eye Care Charitable Trust; collected the field data in this study.


Notes on food groups

Users should be aware that the data presented here do not represent absolute values. The purpose of this publication is to present a true reflection of the usual composition of foods as available and/or consumed among Bhil community members. This is a living document and nutrient information will be added and/or updated when available.

Ninety two different foods were identified and compiled into data tables. Nutrient information was obtained from the Nutritive Value of Indian Foods (1), whose analyses were conducted by the National Institute of Nutrition (NIN), Hyderabad. Samples of food items with no nutrient information were sent to the NIN for nutrient analysis. Seasonality of use, harvest information, type of procurement and other relevant information was collected through household and key informant interview. Most of the foods eaten by the Bhil were harvested locally, collected or hunted in the jungle. Meat, poultry and fish are easily accessible and therefore commonly eaten. Fruit is also eaten in abundance especially when there is a scarcity of other foods. The foods were divided into seven food groups:

  1. Cereals and Millets
  2. Fish and Seafood
  3. Green Leafy and Other Vegetables
  4. Meat and Poultry
  5. Fruits, Nuts and Seeds
  6. Pulses and Legumes
  7. Roots and Tubers

Notes on food components

There are approximately 18 to 20 components in the main body of the tables, which are presented in a fixed format for each record. The order of presentation is based on major nutrients categories

The information on the analytical details for majority of the components and conversion factors for some nutrients can be obtained from the referenced literature.

Most of the total carotene and beta carotene values are sourced from the “Nutritive Value of Indian Foods”. Vitamin A values are reported in both Vitamin A retinol equivalents (RE-µg) and in retinol activity equivalents (RAE-µg). These values are calculated and reported only for foods where beta carotene and total carotenes values are available. Vitamin A RAE values are reported for compatibility with the DRI (Dietary Reference Intake) recommendations.


References
  1. Gopalan, G., Rama Sastri, B.V., Balasubramanian S.C., 2002. Nutritive Value of Indian Foods. National Institute of Nutrition. Indian Council of Medical Research. Hydrabad-500 007. India.
  2. Food Composition Tables for the Near East, 1982. FAO Food and Nutrition Paper # 26. Food & Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome.
  3. Puwastien, P., Burlingame, B., Raroengwichit, M., Sungpuag, P., 2000. ASEAN Food Composition Tables. Institute of Nutrition, Mahidol University (INMU), Thailand.