Document Detail

'Eating, eating is always there': food, consumerism and cardiovascular disease. Some evidence from Kerala, south India.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  21153961     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The state of Kerala, south India, has particularly high prevalence rates for cardiovascular disease (20%, Sugathan, Soman and Sankaranarayanan 2008) and Type II diabetes (16.3%, Kutty, Joseph, and Soman 1999). Although so-called 'lifestyle' diseases can be prevented and symptoms controlled by diet, exercise, and medicines, heart disease and diabetes have become the most common causes of suffering, disability and death. This article explores the social dynamics transforming consumer lifestyles as increased food consumption, reduced physical activity and social stress contribute to the burden of cardiovascular disease (CVD). It examines the centrality of food to ideas of the 'good life', to nurture social relationships and strengthen weak modern bodies, as the principle source of embodied pleasure and health. It explores the micro and macro politics of eating and feasting, limiting the extent to which 'individuals' (can) control food habits. Thus, despite widespread recognition of the relationship between diet, exercise and heart disease, the flow of food, the immediacy of pleasure, and associations between appetite and health override latent concerns about the negative impacts of dietary excesses on long-term health and chronic illness. Findings are discussed to highlight the inherent limitations of public health interventions focusing on education and individual choice.
Caroline Wilson
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Anthropology & medicine     Volume:  17     ISSN:  1469-2910     ISO Abbreviation:  Anthropol Med     Publication Date:  2010 Dec 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2010-12-14     Completed Date:  2011-03-17     Revised Date:  2014-02-20    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9709920     Medline TA:  Anthropol Med     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  261-75     Citation Subset:  IM    
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MeSH Terms
Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology*,  ethnology
Chronic Disease
Eating / psychology*
Food Habits / psychology*
India / epidemiology
Life Style
Grant Support
G0802703//Medical Research Council

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