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The Applied Anthropology of Obesity

Prevention, Intervention, and Identity

Edited by Chad T. Morris and Alexandra G. Lancey - Contributions by Moya L. Alfonso; Sara Arias-Steele; Emily Bissett; Amy Borovoy; Sean Bruna; Alexandra Brewis; Constanza Carney; Jose B. Rosales Chavez; Colleen O’Brien Cherry; Lillie Dao; Merrill Eisenberg; Margaret Everett; Charles H. Klein; Stevenson Kuartei; Alexandra G. Lancey; John S. Luque; Zuhra Malik; Chad T. Morris; Elizabeth Serieux; Stacy Sobell; Yelena N. Tarasenko; Alejandro Tecum; Sarah Trainer; Deborah Williams; Amanda Wolfe; Sarah Womack and Amber Wutich

The increasing global prevalence of obesity and nutrition-based non-communicable disease has many causes, including food availability; social norms as evidenced in local foodways; genetic predisposition; economic circumstance; cultural variation in norms surrounding body composition; and policies affecting production, distribution, and consumption of food locally and globally. The Applied Anthropology of Obesity:Prevention, Intervention, and Identity advances understanding of the many cultural factors underlying increased global obesity prevalence. This collection of chapters showcase the value of anthropology’s holistic approach to human interaction by exploring how human identity associated with obesity/overweight is affected by cultural norms, policy decisions, and perceptions of cultural change. They also demonstrate best practices for the application of anthropological skillsets to develop culturally-appropriate nutritional behavior change across multiple levels of analysis, from local programming to policy decisions at local and national levels.

In addition to soliciting explanatory models used by respondents in different cultures and situations, anthropologists find themselves on the front lines of public health and policy attempts at affecting behavioral change. As such, this applied-focused volume will be of utility to scholars and practitioners in applied and medical anthropology, as well as to scholars and professionals in public health and other disciplines. The volume’s authors are professional and student anthropologists from both public health practice and academia. Chapters are geographically diverse, containing lessons learned from attempts to combat obesity by anthropologically focusing on culture, history, economy, and power relative to obesity causation, prevention, and intervention. The Applied Anthropology of Obesity: Prevention, Intervention, and Identity candidly provides rich information about social identity, obesity, and treatment.
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Lexington Books
Pages: 254Size: 6 1/4 x 9 3/8
978-1-4985-1263-3 • Hardback • December 2015 • $85.00 • (£54.95)
978-1-4985-1264-0 • eBook • December 2015 • $80.00 • (£52.95)
Chad T. Morris is associate professor and director of the honors program at Roanoke College.

Alexandra G. Lancey is a graduate student at the University of South Florida.

Chad T. Morris, Amanda Wolfe, Sarah Womack, Stevenson Kuartei
Colleen O’Brien Cherry, Elizabeth Serieux

Lillie Uyên-Loan Đào, Sara Arias-Steele, Emily Bissett, Constanza Carney, Zuhra Malik
Charles Klein
Amy Borovoy
Alexandra G. Lancey
John Luque, Moya Alfonso, Yelena Tarasenko
Margaret Everett, Betty Izumi, Scott Ellis, Alejandro Tecum, Anne Morse, Stacey Sobell
Sean Bruna
Sarah Trainer, Alexandra Brewis, Amber Wutich
Deborah L. Williams, Alexandra A. Brewis, Sarah S. Trainer, Jose Rosales Chavez
Merrill Eisenberg
About the Contributors
Chad T. Morris and Alexandra G. Lancey have assembled a valuable collection of anthropological studies of obesity and efforts to combat it. Working in diverse cultural settings, the authors use a variety of qualitative and quantitative methods to explore individual, community, and societal level factors contributing to obesity. Applied anthropologists and public health professionals have much to learn from these authors’ research, findings, and practice recommendations.
Carol Bryant, University of South Florida

The common thread that ties together the papers in this volume is the holistic perspective that applied anthropology brings to understanding overweight/obesity in diverse geographical settings and among varied groups of people with different lived experiences and perceptions of the world. This perspective is critically important when it comes to addressing not only nutritional-behavior change but also those structural factors and policies that influence access to food and lifestyle. The work of professional and student researchers presented here should be commended for a job well done.
David Himmelgreen, University of South Florida