Studies on energy expenditure of East African women
Aitken, Fiona J
This study, carried out in the Kwanaa District of the Lake Province of Tanganyika, was undertaken with a view to increasing the information available about the energy requirements of African women. The subjects studied were healthy young women training to be Domestic Science or Primary school teachers. The average age was 19 years and the average weight 56.7 Kg. Coming from good homes in all parts of the territory, they were judged to be representative of the healthy young female population. The diets provided by the schools where the students were studying are described and an estimate of their food value given. These were thought to be nutritionally adequate for the girls concerned By means of indirect calorimetry using the Kofranyi Michaelis respirometer and a Haldane Gas Analysis apparatus, measurements of the energy cost of lying at rest were made on 12 subjects. The energy cost of sitting and of walking out of doors at approximately 2.5 mph were similarly determined on 16 and 10 subjects respectively. The results obtained wore compared with those obtained by various workers dealing with European subjects of the same age and were found to be of the same order. The results of further studies of the calorie cost of three common Domestic tasks (vis. pounding, digging and carrying a head load) using 10 subjects are reported. The processes involved and the methods of carrying out the experimmts are described. The average daily energy expenditure of 23 students was estimated in th® following way. With th® aid of a diary, end using a pre-arranged code of letters for each type of activity, each student kept a record of her activities for 8 consecutive days. The total time spent on each activity was multiplied by the estimated calorie cost of that activity and the total energy expended the student calculated - hence the average daily expenditure for the group was found. An attempt was made to get some idea of the daily energy expenditure of village women. A typical lake Province village was observed and described with particular reference to work of the women. The heights and weights of. a number of the women have been reported and some observations of the time spent by them on various tasks. It was not possible to do any direct measurements on the village women but using figures. from various other sources an estimate was made of their daily energy expenditure. This was found to be slightly higher than British housewives but similar to that found with female European housewives and agricultural workers. It was also noted that «he average weight of the village women was less than that of the students studied, and that of the European women.