Health and Welfare
Although the 1990 average daily nutritional intake in Guyana, 2,450 calories, exceeded the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) recommended level by about 10 percent, malnutrition remained a problem. Intake of protein calories averaged 62.7 grams, of which 23.1 came from animal sources.
Although the national food supply generally is adequate, a high incidence of malnutrition persists, especially in rural areas where deficiencies in vitamin A, iron, folic acid, and protein are common.
Not everyone in Guyana has the means to produce or purchase the food needed for an adequate diet. Also, some foods are not available in sufficient supply to ensure good nutrition. Malnutrition is still estimated to affect more than a third of all children under five years of age.
Peas, rice, and bread are staples in the diet of many Guyanese. Locally grown vegetables that are high in carbohydrates, such as cassava, plantains, and breadfruit, are widely consumed, but are available only in season. Green and yellow vegetables are plentiful, but are usually of poor quality. Chicken bought in local markets is frequently contaminated with salmonella.
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