Perception of food and body shape as dimensions of Western acculturation potentially linked to overweight in Tarahumara women of Mexico
2004 (English)In: Ecology of Food and Nutrition, ISSN 0367-0244, Vol. 43, 193-212 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
A recent survey in northern Mexico found that 52.8% of adult Tarahumarawomen were overweight. A process of “de-Indianization” of their diet washypothesized. The present study aimed at exploring food and body shapeperceptions as dimensions contributing to the role that Western acculturationcould be playing in increasing overweight in this isolated indigenouspopulation. Data were obtained from structured interviews of a type commonlyused in cognitive anthropology. Partial rank ordering of photographicseries’ depicting dishes, food preparation methods and drinks, andconstrained pile sorting of photographs portraying Tarahumara womenarranged from the thinnest to the fattest were used to assess food and body shape perceptions, respectively. Data analytic techniques employedincluded cultural consensus, tabu search clustering, and multidimensionalscaling. Respondents judged mestizo and Western foods as tastier than traditionalfoods. Spanish language capacity was linked to preferences formestizo and Western foods and for fatter body shapes as ideals for beauty,health, and motherhood. Thin-normal women were considered the mostindustrious. Speaking Spanish emerged as the only clear element of acculturationthat could be defined.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2004. Vol. 43, 193-212 p.
Acculturation, body shape, food, Mexico, overweight, Tarahumara, westernization
Medical and Health Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-91319DOI: 10.1080/03670240490446803OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-91319DiVA: diva2:164011