UPDATE on Tribute to Nevin Scrimshaw

We look forward to seeing you at the Tribute!  If you cannot make it in person, we will be streaming it live on the web at this address: http://webcast.tufts-emc.org/nutrition_ak.html

For more details and directions, please check our website: http://www.inffoundation.org/news/events.htm#tribute

Gathering in Tribute to the Life of Nevin Scrimshaw
12:00-3:00 pm, April 20, 2013
Behrakis Auditorium
Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy
Tufts University
150 Harrison Ave, Boston, MA USA

Tribute to Nevin Scrimshaw

The Nevin Scrimshaw International Nutrition Foundation is hosting:

Dr. Scrimshaw
Photo credit: Dominic Chavez

A Gathering in Tribute to the Life of
Nevin Scrimshaw, 1918-2013

12:00-3:00 pm, April 20, 2013
Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy
Tufts University
150 Harrison Ave, Boston, MA USA

Please join us as we share memories of Dr. Scrimshaw’s life and celebrate his accomplishments as a physician, nutrition scientist, mentor, global activist, and founder of the International Nutrition Foundation. In addition to featured participants from the world of nutrition, science and global health, Dr. Susan Scrimshaw will speak on behalf of the Scrimshaw family. There will be time for other attendees to share their thoughts and feelings as well. The Tribute will be followed by a reception with light refreshments.

Please let us know if you plan to attend by sending your RSVP to:

For more information, please visit: http://inffoundation.org/news/events.htm

Nevin S. Scrimshaw: January 20, 1918 – February 8, 2013


Dear friends and colleagues,

With deepest regrets and sorrow, we share with you the news that our mentor and friend Dr. Nevin Scrimshaw died February 8th in New Hampshire after a short illness.

Words fail to express the depth of the loss to his family, to this Foundation, and to the global nutrition community. We at INF will be taking a central role in his Memorial and are planning for an event this spring. We welcome your participation and will keep you informed.

In honor of Dr. Scrimshaw’s memory, the foundation board has created the Nevin Scrimshaw Memorial Advancement Fund.  The Fund will honor Dr. Scrimshaw’s enourmous contributions to nutrition research and population health and enliven his vision of nutrition research capacity building in the developing world.

Please feel free to share your thoughts on Dr. Scrimshaw, the the influence and inspiration he may have had in your career, and impact on nutrition and health in your country. Email us at inf@inffoundation.org or post on our Facebook page.


Traditional herb water linked to smaller babies

Mom and Baby Girl at Buena Vista - Nuevo Progreso - San Marcos - Zinc Research Project

Reuter’s picked up an interesting article just published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition by Dr. Colleen Doak, Dr. Noel Solomons and colleagues at CeSSIAM.

Traditional herb water linked to smaller babies

Infants given a traditional Guatemalan drink in the first month of life are almost twice as likely to have stunted growth than other children, according to a new study.

“We believe that aguitas may be part of the explanation for the high child stunting prevalence in Guatemala,” lead author Colleen Doak told Reuters Health by email.

The herbal infusions known as aguitas come in many forms, including cinnamon, chamomile and mint. Indigenous Guatemalans believe the drinks help ease colic and diarrhea and improve general health.

Doak, of VU University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands, and her colleagues surveyed about 450 mothers with children under two years old. Nearly 80 percent of their babies had been given aguitas, and a quarter of those were first given the drink before the age of three weeks.

Half of the babies who had been given aguitas within the first three weeks of life had stunted growth, compared to 35 percent of all other children, according to results in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines stunted growth as length below the 5th percentile of the WHO Child Growth Standards. A three month old boy shorter than 22.8 inches, for example, is considered stunted.

The researchers did not follow the children beyond the age of two years. Other studies, however, have found that stunted children tend to perform worse in school and are more likely to be obese and have diabetes or high blood pressure, Dr. Peter Rohloff told Reuters Health by email.

“For all these problems, it is extremely important that we figure out what contributes to the development of stunting, and what to do about it,” said Rohloff, of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, who was not involved in the study.


These findings do not indicate that aguitas cause the higher rates of stunting in Guatemala, only that the two are somehow linked.

If the watery drink regularly takes the place of breastmilk in feedings, the babies could be undernourished, or if the water is served in dirty containers it might spread infection, but neither of these is likely to fully explain the connection the researchers saw, according to Doak.

It is also possible that aguitas is a result and not a cause – babies born with a condition that leads to stomach pain and stunted growth would likely be given the drink earlier.

In any case, the connection deserves more investigation, Doak said, as Guatemala has the highest rates of stunting in Latin America and the third highest rate in the world.

“Obviously poverty is likely to play an important role, but other countries with similar per capita incomes have lower prevalences of child stunting,” said Doak.

She suggests future studies follow mothers and babies from birth so the researchers can be sure when the babies first taste the drink, instead of relying on answers to survey questions.

“Stunting is an important global pediatric health problem, in Guatemala and elsewhere,” said Rohloff, who founded a healthcare organization for indigenous people in the country.

If future studies confirm that the herbal drinks are also a factor, the consequences could be felt outside the country where the current study took place.

“Many different cultures have traditions of giving fluids. Aguitas in Guatemala is just one example,” said Doak.

Source: Reuter’s, Feb 4, 2013: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/02/04/us-herb-water-idUSBRE9130W220130204

In Memoriam: Maimuna Jane Adejo-Ogiri

Jane with her posterINF would like to pay tribute to Ms. Jane Adejo-Ogiri, a Fellowship alumna who recently passed away. Jane obtained her B.Sc. in Food Science and Technology from Kogi State University, Ayungba, Kogi state, Nigeria. She then completed her Masters in the Department of Human Nutrition, University of Ibadan, Nigeria from Jan, 2010 – Oct, 2011. Her Masters thesis was titled ”Nutrient Composition and Bioavailability of Cirina Forda (Westwood) enriched complementary foods,” for which she received an INF Fellowship to present at Nutrition Congress Africa this year. Jane was a member of AGSNet and ANS, and attended the FANUS conference held in Abuja, Nigeria in 2011. Most recently she worked as a Nutritionist/Dietitian at the Federal Medical Centre, Makurdi, Benue State, Nigeria. Jane had ambitions of returning to the University of Ibadan for a professional Masters in Nutrition and Dietetics. Our hearts go out to Jane’s family, friends and colleagues.

The INF Fellows who attended NCA with Jane have put together this tribute:

Jane? It is with shock that we received the news. We think of Jane as we look at the key ring present she gave us during the Nutrition Congress Africa, 2012 in Bloemfontein South Africa. Is this how death is? We are still in shock. We can’t make sense of what has happened. We knew you but for a short time, our relationship was so good we prayed that God would give us another opportunity to meet very soon.  .

We are here for a season and a reason. We believe she has been a good example to those around her for the time she lived. Jane your memory lingers on. Bye friend and may the Almighty receive you dear.

This hymn comes to mind:

Through all the changing scenes of life
In trouble & in joy
The praises of my God shall still
My heart & mouth employ.

Dear JANE, find rest in your maker’s bosom.

When the day of toil is done
When the race of life is run
Father grant thy weary one
Rest forevermore

-INF/Pfizer Fellows to the Nutrition Congress Africa, 2012. South Africa Bloemfontein.