The Anthropology of Obesity

Botero.jpgWhat’s obesity? When thinking of obesity we think of an individual being overweight either to overeating or medical reasons could cause it. Obesity is a global problem that has increased in the past ten years. Obesity can be related to gender, social status, and bio-cultural perspective. Many cultures have associated weight with the ability to have healthy children. For example in some areas of Africa families believe that women who are on the heavier side are fitter. The majority of these cultures had or have ideas of larger women having the ability to store fat and have a safer pregnancy. Also, in this areas weight and social status have an incredibly high correlation. Assuming that if a person is overweight, they can afford enough food to eat and have extra, that is why they are heavy. However, having a person be overweight doesn’t mean that they are healthy or that they can have a better pregnancy. Individuals who are obese can still face issues such as malnutrition and unsafe pregnancies. There are some misconceptions the following obesity as a sign of beauty. If individuals didn’t try to normalize or believe that obesity is a good thing what do you think would happen?

The Anthropology of Obesity


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