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Weight of ObesityHunger and Global Health in Postwar Guatemala$
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Emily Yates-Doerr

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780520286818

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520286818.001.0001

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Many Values of Health

Many Values of Health

Chapter:
(p.155) Chapter 6 Many Values of Health
Source:
Weight of Obesity
Author(s):

Emily Yates-Doerr

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520286818.003.0007

The final full chapter, chapter 6, considers the shortcomings in public-health attempts to create measurement-focused guidelines for healthy eating. Many social theorists have explained growing concerns about obesity through the expanding medicalization of social life, but this chapter suggests that this is an inadequate descriptor of the transitions underway in Guatemala, a country where medical resources are largely understaffed and underfunded—their absence, not expansion, is at issue. Highlighting the proliferation of metric-based healthy-eating formulas, the chapter argues that a range of processes often referred to as medicalization might be better understood as metrification. The chapter ends with examples of obesity treatment strategies that people seeking care found to be both valuable and sustainable. These strategies relied not upon measured standards but upon situated engagement with everyday negotiations of the complex and often contradictory terrain of “healthy” eating.

Keywords:   global health, well-being, metrification, medicalization, ontologies, nutrition, nutrients, Guatemala

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