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Huvudmenyn dold.
Publicerad: 07 maj, 2020

OF FATNESS, FITNESS AND FINESSE

NYHET A new paper published by Heather Mackay, Geography Lecturer, Umeå University, explores the experiences and interpretations of non-communicable diseases, such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension and heart disease in Uganda

Text: Heather Mackay

People are buying bums and hips…

Adam:      Times are changing - people are buying curves! They are in shops - they are selling plastic bums!

Me:           What? [somewhat shocked and amused]

Erik:          Yeah at 100,000 UGX! People are making business! Even here, people buy and put something here [he pats his hips and butt], and they put on a legging, moving on the street and you are seeing. Those things are there - exaggerated body shapes…

Diabetes can affect anyone, not only the large or the rich…

‘It is everyone! Mmm, everyone! The poor…when I go to the main hospital [referring to the specialist diabetes clinic] you see the poor, the middle class, the rich, the smaller size, the big size like me. We are mixed up!’ (Innocent, Mbarara)

 

Vehemently refuting gendered stereotypes and attempt to blame women, ignorance or laziness for obesity…

‘But we [speaking collectively of Ugandans] are poor! You cannot have the food to cook and eat, cook and eat?! Where do you get the food?! [all laugh at this point] People are poor!…And besides, in town…you have to plan for your families, school fees, clothing, medication…etc. I don’t think there are many who cook, eat; cook, eat!’ [Innocent is shaking her head, clearly bemused and angered, by the suggestion of these (mostly) men]

 

A new paper published by Heather Mackay, Geography Lecturer, Umeå University, explores the experiences and interpretations of non-communicable diseases, such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension and heart disease in Uganda. Findings revealed provocative conceptualisations of gendered livelihood strategies interwoven with conflicting body size beliefs. The paper explores how unequal and unjust socio-economic and health systems, together with features of the urban built environment, work as factors contributing to NCD experience. The research illustrates the realities of insecure urban African lives. Heather’s work provides insight into barriers to healthy urban living in the context of Ugandan, and potentially other sub-Saharan African, cities. As researchers interested in good food and health environments in cities, this paper emphases the need to engage with localised discourses, imaginaries and interpretations (whether medically & factually accurate or not), as much as with diagnostic and health infrastructures, and local planner visions of cities, in order to support healthy urban lives.

Full article available