Prof Blanco added: "Children are generally regarded as the main group at risk for environmental exposure to pathogens, not only because they are frequent users of playgrounds, but also due to the high prevalence of geophagia
in that consumption of sand within this group, and the immaturity of their immunological, neurological and digestive systems.
Among the females, poor hygiene and geophagia
(Pica) was an important aetiology.
Young children are at particular risk for infection if they place fecally contaminated objects or fingers into their mouths or have syndromes such as pica or geophagia
There are other compelling reasons for gaining a finer understanding of the health needs of IM populations; a recent study in Johannesburg of the prevalence of geophagia
in pregnant women showed that around one-fifth of the sample were IMs, and that the level of geophagia
in this group was twice as high as that among SA women (17% in women born in SA v.
Syndrome of iron deficiency anemia, hepatosplenomegaly, hypogonadism, dwarfism, and geophagia
The most common form of pica globally is geophagia
which is the ingestion of lithospheric substances, notably clay soil [4-8].
Pica is more widespread than geophagia
and pica does not imply geophagia
The anthropologist John Hunter describes geophagia
as "a nearly universal cross-cultural phenomenon," found "in the Mediterranean world of Roman and later times, in medieval western Europe, in present-day Iran, India, China, and extensively in the tropical peasant world of Indonesia, Oceania, and Africa": "Geophagy in Africa and the United States: A Culture-Nutrition Hypothesis," Geographical Review 63.
3), (4), (6) Although not as common as geophagia
, other forms of pica include eating paint chips (plumbophagia), ice/freezer frost (pagophagia), laundry starch (amylophagia) and burnt matches (cautopyreiophagia), just to name a few.
The child had a history of geophagia
(eating soil) and travel to upstate New York.
Several examples of pica include amylophagia (the consumption of starch), coprophagia (feces), geophagia
(soil, clay, or chalk), hyalophagia (glass), pagophagia (pathological consumption of ice), trichophagia (hair or wool), urophagia (urine) and xylophagia (wood).
As the editors note, 'the various chapters on geophagia
, despite their individual insights, highlight the fact that specific instances of earth-eating have yet to be investigated in a sustained, integrated and interdisciplinary manner' (p.