3.6 Prevalence of Soil-pica Among Various Subpopulations
The panelists only briefly discussed the extent geophagy and soil-pica vary across various subpopulations within a given age group. Citing his own research, one panelist found the prevalence of soil ingestion among white children to be higher than that among black children, but he thought this finding is likely due to factors (e.g., coverage of yard space with bare soils, time spent outdoors) other than a fundamental difference in soil ingestion behaviors among ethnic groups (BL). Another panelist cautioned, however, that data on soil ingestion collected in studies of children in the northeastern United States might not be representative of soil ingestion rates for children in other parts of the country (NF).
Also citing his research, another panelist indicated that geophagy in Mississippi did not appear to vary with socio-economic class (DV). Finally, earlier in the workshop, this panelist noted that consumption of geophagical materials by some Hispanics may be tied to religious traditions both in Mexico and Honduras. No other panelists commented on these topics.