Yucatec Maya Subsistence Farmers Anthropology First Year Course University Of Toronto Article Review

1939 words - 8 pages

Article Review of “Childhood body mass is positively associated with cesarean birth in Yucatec Maya subsistence farmers.”
Obesity and caesarean sections. Both have seen a significant increase in the past decade, with some places like the United States seeing an increase of 13.7 % between 1990 and 2011 (Kjerulff et al., 2018). These two epidemics are often seen together, however, correlation does not mean causation. Authors Veile and Karmar attempt to answer a gap in current research; the link between caesarean birth rate and childhood obesity. However, they also attempt to fix some disputes with previous research by trying to decrease the number of confounders usually found in western urbanized societies, such as nutritional value provided to infants and education levels (Veile and Karmar 2017). Through the use of a Mexican rural civilization still significantly unaltered by modern technology and market food, the authors plan to eliminate many of the confounders which disapprove previous research done in this field (Veile and Karmar 2017). The research hypothesizes that there is a positive relationship between caesarian sections and obesity, and that this will be proven through a higher WAZ/BMI. In conclusion the authors did find correlation between caesarean sections and obesity, but this was only significantly seen in one of the conditions in which the mother had a high BMI and the child was overweight between the ages of 24-60 months following a C-Section (Veile and Karmar 2017). As well there seemed to be a higher chance for a female to be obese/overweight in comparison to a male. This critique essay will look at the methodology used, positive and negative aspects of the study, as well as the connection this study has to the anthropologic world.
Using the Maya population of Mexico Veile and Karmar (2017) use a longitudinal experimental design. The study participants consisted of 57 mothers and 108 children, infants enter the study at birth until 5 years of age. Each month the child is brought to the community clinic and a trained physician measured height and weight using standard measures. As well, maternal weight and height were collected on an annual basis and recorded (Veile and Karmar 2017). There are two Z-scores used in the article; the population specific Z-score is used to compare intrapopulation and the WHO Z-score for cross-cultural reference. The WAZ scale was used for infant calculations of underweight, overweight and obese and the BMI criteria was used for adults to calculate the same categories (Veile and Karmar 2017). It was also noted that the majority of the participants were a part of a government program known as Oportunidades. This program provided money to families to help them pay for food and cover expenses such as education for their children, as well it favoured higher female education as families would receive more money for this (Leroy et al., 2008). The most significant conclusion this...

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