How women use food to negotiate power in Pakistani and Indian households

CHOWBEY, Punita (2017). How women use food to negotiate power in Pakistani and Indian households. The Conversation.

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When it comes to healthy eating, policies and advice tend to focus on improving food knowledge and cooking skills. But food is more than just a source of pleasure and nutrition, it is also a medium for expressing family relationships. Almost everything from the order of serving food, portion sizes, meal timings and types of food can act as an expression of love, intimacy, distance or disdain. Those who do the cooking and serve food can communicate their authority or resistance through food – for example, by reducing the amount on a plate, or by altering serving and seating orders. Family members can exact punishment by not giving food when it is expected, or not accepting food when it is offered. My new research has found that in order to encourage healthy eating, we need to understand the nuanced role that food plays in our relationships. For my latest study, I spoke to 84 South Asian women of Indian and Pakistani background who live in Britain, India and Pakistan about the links between their access to resources and the way food is prepared and eaten in their households. There is some evidence to suggest that unhealthy diets among South Asian populations are contributing to health inequalities in the UK.

Item Type: Other
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 16 Feb 2021 14:34
Last Modified: 17 Mar 2021 13:00

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