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March 2, 1963

INDIA

JAMA. 1963;183(9):804. doi:10.1001/jama.1963.03700090124023

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Abstract

Vitamin Deficiencies in Indian Tribal Diets.  —Roy and Rao (Indian J Med Res50:6 [Nov] 1962) studied the diets of 18 Indian tribes from three main regions: the Northeastern, Central, and Southwestern zones of India. Five per cent of the Indian population is composed of tribes. The survey was conducted on about 3,000 families, involving approximately 15,000 individuals. The majority of tribes earn their living by agricultural labor or work in the forest; few lead a purely pastoral life.The daily diet is monotonous, often consisting of boiled rice or millets and boiled or dried vegetables. Very little meat is eaten. Boiling is the method of cooking, and oils, salt, and chilies are used primarily. Alcoholic beverages are taken by some.From a nutritional point of view, not one Indian tribe can be said to have a satisfactory diet. Tribal diets are generally grossly deficient in calcium, riboflavin, and

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