Past and present of living standards in Spain EN

Past and present of living standards in Spain:
health, nutrition and sustainability, 19th and 20th centuries


Josep Pujol Andreu 
(Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)



Within the framework of the Spanish Strategy for Science and Technology, which is aligned with that of the European Union (Horizon 2020), the coordinating subproject (PRENSAS) will develop new aspects of the methodological framework that it has just defined in the subprojects coordinators HAR2010-20684-C02-01 and HAR2013-47182-C2-1-P, for the study of biological living standards (NVB). In this methodological framework, we analyze the historical relationships between income and our target NVB variables (mortality, morbidity, fertility, life expectancy, height and body mass), based on: a) two intermediate variables (food consumption/nutritional status, and use of health services); and b) different environmental variables (environmental conditions, availability of food and health services, scientific progress in nutrition and health, and public hygiene policies). Likewise, although we continue to focus our attention on Spain, we place more emphasis on analyzes compared to other countries in Western Europe and Latin America, preferably with similar cultural and/or environmental settings. In this general context, however, although in this subproject we will also analyze heights, this will not be our main focus. This variable is analyzed, above all, in the DESPOBES subproject. More specifically, we intend to: (1) Provide new statistical and documentary references to our objective and intermediate variables, focusing attention on the most vulnerable groups (pregnant women and child population), and with more disaggregated data (at a geographical scale, rural / urban location , gender and by age groups); (2) To also propose, with those references, new indicators of inequality, to better specify: a) the phases of divergence and convergence of demographic, epidemiological and nutritional transitions; b) the moments of rupture that accompanied these processes; and c) the impact that income levels had on its development; (3) Develop a new line of research on the dissemination of antibiotics, and health services more oriented to infectious diseases, in order to better evaluate their impact on the availability and consumption of food (particularly livestock), and the changes in the age structure of the population; (4) Develop new indicators on the dissemination of scientific knowledge on nutrition and health in the Spanish population, with new references on specialist prescriptions, and the evaluations that they carried out, at different times, of the nutritional properties of foods and diets more suitable in the most vulnerable groups; (5) Propose new elements of analysis on the processes of globalization of the diet since the last third of the 20th century, and the precarious sustainability of the current patterns of food consumption. With this objective: food consumption and nutrient intake in Spain will be compared to those of other European and Latin American countries; and new indicators will be proposed on the productive matrix of the agricultural sector, the impact of climate change on food production, and the changes induced in consumption patterns, due to changes in the structure of households.

Research team

Anna Maria Aubanell (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)
Salvador Calatayud Giner
Gabriele Capelli (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)
Esteve Corbera Elizalde (UAB, ICTA)
Xavier Cussó Segura (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)
Pedro Fatjó Gómez (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)
Emanuele Felice (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)
Gonzalo Gamboa Jiménez (UAB, ICTA)
Montserrat Llonch Casanovas (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)
Pablo Martinelli (Universidad Carlos III)
Francisco J. Medina Albaladejo
Giuseppe Munda (UAB, ICTA)
Francisco Muñoz Pradas (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)
Roser Nicolau Nos (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)
Jesús Ramos Martín (UAB, ICTA)