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La Educación
Número: (134-135) I,II
Año: 2000


1. This paper draws heavily on Chapter 9, titled “Relating health and nutrition to social and psychological development” in R. Myers, The Twelve Who Survive (London: Routledge, 1992). The article was originally prepared for presentation at the Symposium on “Recent advances in research on the effects of health and nutrition on children’s development and school achievement,” Ocho Rios, Jamaica, May 24-26, 1995.

2. Consider the following definitions given by herbalists in Oaxaca, Mexico, when asked, “What does it mean to be healthy?”: “It is when a person is content, calm, with a desire to work and to eat. The eyes shine. It is when a person has no problem with family, neighbors or authorities and it is to be well with God and fellow men. In general it is to feel happy.” The response to “What does it mean to be sick?” was: “One can see that a sick person has problems. They look tired, can’t move along, are sad and desperate. They do not have peace in the family. When they look emaciated, the blood is giving out and now there is no peacefulness. It is when one smokes and drinks all the time or is desperate with fright”. (Instituto Nacional Indigenista, p. 14) The emphasis of the Mexican herbalists is not very different at root from that of the World Health Organization (WHO). The Constitution of the World Health Organization tells us that: Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and is not merely the absence, of disease or infirmity.