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Concept of the “Consumption Unit”

When the food intake of a community or a group of people is to be measured, the practical problem that arises is that the group is constituted by individuals of various ages and sex groups. Each group has a different set of such groups.
To resolve this issue, it is usual to assess the needs of women and children in terms of those of the average man by applying appropriate coefficients of calorie consumption suggested for practical nutrition work in India.

Reference Indian Adult Man and Woman

A reference man: is
• Between 18 and 29 years of age
• Weighs 60 kg with a
• Height of 1.73 m and
• BMI of 20.3 and is
• Free from disease and physically fit for active work.
• On each working day, he is engaged in 8 hours of occupation which usually involves moderate activity.
• While not at work, he spends 8 hours in bed, 4–6 hours in sitting and moving about, 2 hours in walking, and in active recreation or household duties.
A reference woman: is
• Between 18 and 29 years of age

Types of Piped Water supply

There are two main systems of piped water distribution:
1. Intermittent water supply: Water is supplied only during fixed timings during the day.
2. Continuous water supply: Water is supplied throughout the day.
Most of the cities in India have intermittent supply of water. There are certain disadvantages of the intermittent water supply.
• Water may not be available immediately during an emergency.
• Consumers need to store water. This may lead to contamination of drinking water and potential for mosquito breeding.

Checking for Fly Breeding Sites in a Household

Breeding sites

Female flies deposit their eggs on decayed, fermenting or rotting organic material of either animal or vegetable origin.
1. Dung
Heaps of accumulated animal faeces are among the most important breeding sites for houseflies. The suitability of dung for breeding depends on its moisture (not too wet), texture (not too solid) and freshness (normally within a week after deposition).

Checking for Mosquito Breeding Areas in a Household

POTENTIAL Mosquito breeding areas and ACTUAL mosquito breeding areas:
Mosquitoes breed (lay eggs) in accumulated water. Hence we need to look for areas where water accumulates for sufficient time period.
Some common places to check for water accumulation are as follows:
Inside the house
• Desert coolers
• Flower vase
• Potted plants
• Water tanks, cisterns, and other stored water
• Old cans, tyres, coconut shells, bottles, paper cups lying in open, etc.
Around the house
• Puddles and roadside ditches
• Open drains

Family and the Types of Family:

Family: It is a group of biologically related individuals living together and eating from a common kitchen.
Nuclear (elementary) family: It consists of a married couple and their dependent children. A “new family” is a nuclear family within first 10 years of formation (marriage).
Joint (extended) family: It consists of a number of married couples and their children living in the same household. All the men in the household are related by blood and the women are their wives, unmarried daughters or widows.

Assessment of Adequacy of Ventilation

• Every living room should be provided with at least two windows with at least one of these opening directly on to an open space. If this is not the case, advise the family to use an exhaust fan.
• Measure the height and breadth of the windows and the doors.
• Calculate the area of each one by the formula: area = length × breadth.
• Total window area should be 1/5th of the floor area.
• The total area of the doors and the windows taken together should be 2/5th of the floor area.

Assessment Of Overcrowding in a household

Three criteria have been used commonly for judging the presence of “overcrowding”
The number of persons in the household is divided by the number of rooms in the house.
The criteria for counting of persons for assessment of sufficiency of living area are as follows:
• An infant (a child under 12 months of age) is not counted.
• Children aged 1–10 years are counted as half a person each.
• All those above the age of 10 years are counted as one person each.


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