1500-2000 WORDS,15 referencesYour research project is an ethnographic report on some aspect of nutritional anthropology. Ethnography is a narrative of an anthropologist’s research and our two primary methods: observation and interview. You are asked to use an ethnographic component—either an interview OR an observation to engage in a SMALL study relating to nutritional anthropology. Small is the appropriate word— use the ethnographic component to exemplify something about the subject you have chosen.The interview or participant observation is a major component of the final paper !!!Final Paper:A biocultural examination of your chosen topic1500-2000 wordsBio-cultural—both a biological anthropological and a cultural examinationUse your interview or observation to explain the topic you chose.Bibliography should include:5 Academic/scholarly sources (from your first assignment)5 Readings from the course (preferably more)At least 5 other sources/readings (preferably more)Pay attention to feedback on your assignments and ask for help, if needed.How We Will Grade: See grading guidelines in the Syllabus. Other considerations will include following directions. If you want to get a C, just do what is required—which includes following directions (e.g., if you are required to include course readings in your final paper but you do not, your score will suffer). If you want an A or a B, do more. If you want to get a D, ignore directions and do less.Grading Guidelines:A: Does the assignment exceptionally well—richer, deeper analysis and insightful discussion. Outstanding written work and participation. Demonstrates a very high quality of understanding of course material.B: Does more than just the assignment and does it well. Very good written work and participation. Shows a high quality of understanding of course material.C: Does the assignment but nothing more. Acceptable written work and participation. Shows an understanding of course material.D: Does not really do the assignment. Poor written work. Shows minimal understanding of course material.F: Does not really do the assignment. Incomplete work and/or shows a lack of understanding of course material.
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My thesis is that: Childhood obesity has become a widespread problem not only in the US, but
many other developed countries as well. The prevalence of this epidemic is why I chose to
examine different factors related to childhood obesity.
Before I examine the different factors, what determines if a child is obese or not? A child is
considered obese when they are well above the normal or healthy weight for his or her age
One of the most common ways of measuring this is using BMI.
BMI is the most convenient way of measuring relative adiposity among children. BMI is a
measure of body fat based on weight in relation to height.
My argument questions:
The overarching question of interest in childhood obesity is,
Why do some children eat unhealthy but remain a healthy body weight while others become
This question, while quite interesting, could lead me on a wild goose chase trying to find an
answer for a small scale research project.
In the interest of time, I wanted to focus on the a more specific question
Along with environmental factors, what biological factors are playing a role in childhood
We all understand the common environmental factor being an increased food intake with
decreased physical activity
Food consumption :
Before I dive into the different biological contributors to obesity, I wanted to touch briefly on an
important environmental factor. And that being diet, the amount and types of food being
What children are eating plays a very large role in the ever increasing obesity epidemic
Studies have shown that in the last two decades the consumption of fast food by children has
While the exact foods and drinks children are consuming is important, their eating patterns play
a large role as well.
There has been an increase in the grazing consumption and the behavior of three meals a day
has been replaced. This snack food consumption usually entails foods that are high in fat or
high in carbohydrates.
Genetic and Gene environment interactions:
The first biological factor I’m want to speak on is genetics.
Observations have proven that an individuals chances of become obese are increased when he
or she has relatives who are obese.
According to a recent study, only 10% of the population would become obese due to purely
genetic factors. This shows it is quite rare for people to become obese by purely genetic
It is possible A majority of the population has a combination of genes that could have evolved
to cope with food scarcity. This could potentially create a genetic makeup that allows for
increased fat storage when triggered by other factors.
Syndromes linked to obesity:
Although a vast majority of children who are obese do not have a syndrome, there are about 30
inherited disorders in which childhood obesity is a feature.
The most common syndrome related to obesity is Prader-Willi syndrome. This syndrome is
caused by deletion or disruption of paternally imprinted gene or genes. It is common in infancy
for these children to have feeding difficulties.
Along with multi organ syndromes, there are also single gene genetic disorders that result in
morbid obesity. One being Congenital Leptin Deficiency, these children are constantly
demanding food with an intense drive to eat.
Along with genes and genetic disorders:
There is current evidence that suggests that the gut microbiota plays a role in metabolic
regulation and food digestion. A mother plays a significant role in an infants gut microbiota and
its development during infancy and prior to delivery.
Beneficial microbes are found present in healthy full term infants, while the same microbes are
either not present or are detected in very low levels in preterm infants.
It has been shown that breast-fed children have a lower risk of being overweight compared to
formula fed children due to the amount and diversity of the gut microbiota.
As you can see, gut microbiota plays a vital role in children’s potential for becoming obese.
Overall there are many different factors examined in relation to childhood obesity. They each
provided different ideas that aid
in the ever increasing epidemic. There isn’t one single factor that solely contributes to obesity
in children, rather is a multitude of different ones that are all play a role.
Week 1/Module 2. Why Do We Eat What We Eat and What Does It Mean?
1. NA: No Heads, No Feet, No Monkeys, No Dogs: The Evolution of Personal Food Taboos,
Miriam S. Chaiken
2. Norman Kretchmer, Genetic Variability and Lactose Tolerance OR Simoons, F. J.
(1978). The geographic hypothesis and lactose malabsorption. The American
journal of digestive diseases, 23(11), 963-980.
3. Canvas: Tapper, Nancy and Richard Tapper. 1985. Eat This, It’ll Do You a Power of
Good: Food and Commensality among Durrani Pashtuns. American Ethnologist.
Week 1/Module 3. Overview of evolution, adaptation and subsistence strategies.
1. NA: Eaton, S. Boyd and Melvin Konner. Paleolithic Nutrition: A Consideration of Its
Nature and Current Implications
2. NA: Kung Nutritional Status and the Original “Affluent Society”–A New Analysis, Barry
3. NA: Body Size, Adaptation and Function, Reynaldo Martorelli
Week 1/Module 4. Too much/too little: Food, hunger and the Environment
1. NA: Child Malnutrition and Famine in the Nigerien Sahel, Catherine Panter-Brick,
Rachel Casiday, Katherine Hampshire, and Kate Kilpatrick.
2. Canvas: Want Amid Plenty: from Hunger to Inequality Janet Poppendieck.
3. Canvas: Maxey, Larch. 2006. Can We Sustain Sustainable Agriculture? Learning from
Small-Scale Producer-Suppliers in Canada and the UK. The Geographical
4. Canvas: Vietnamese market gardens in NOLA
WEEK 1 ASSIGNMENTS DUE BY MIDNIGHT Friday June 28:
1. Readings Analysis
2. Project and Discussion Assignments (Project Proposal and Response to Colleagues)
Week 2/Module 5. Colonialism, globalization and the globalization of food and food
1. Canvas: Mintz__Time, Sugar and Sweetness.
2. NA: Coca-Colonization of Diets in The Yucatan, Thomas L. Leatherman and Alan
3. NA: Diet and Delocalization: Dietary Changes Since 1750 Gretel H. Pelto and Pertti
Week 2/Module 6. Food and identities
1. Canvas: Sobal, Jeffrey. 2005. Men, Meat and Marriage: Models of Masculinity. Food and
2. NA: Japanese Mothers and Obentos: The Lunch-Box as Ideological State Apparatus, Anne
3. Canvas: Stephen, Lynn. 2003. Cultural citizenship and farmworkers. Human
Week 2/Module 7. Political economies and food and agriculture. Readings:
1. Canvas: Clapp_The Political Economy of Food Aid in an Era of Agricultural
2. Canvas: the view from agribusiness—Harvard Business School Executive Seminars
3. Canvas: Hightower excerpt
4. Canvas: Dunn_The Food of SorrowSummer 2017
5. Canvas: The Sociopolitics of Food Deserts
WEEK 2 ASSIGNMENTS DUE BY MIDNIGHT Friday July 5:
1. Readings Analysis
2. Project and Discussion Assignments (Project Interview or Observation Summary and
Response to Colleagues)
Module 8. Globalization
1. NA: How Sushi Went Global, Theodore C. Bestor.
2. NA: Anthropological Perspectives on the Global Food Crisis, David A.
Himmelgreen, Nancy Romero-Daza, and Charlotte A. Noble
3. Canvas: Nonini, Donald M. 2013. The local-food movement and the anthropology of
global systems. American Ethnologist 40(2):265-275.
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