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Nutritional Anthropology

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Dr. Bindon  Anthropology  Arts & Sciences  University of Alabama
Syllabus in pdf format

See our Spring 2005 Fieldtrip

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DATE

TOPICS AND READINGS

January 14

Introduction to Nutritional Anthropology

  1. Farb, P. and G. Armelagos. 1980. Consuming Passions: The Anthropology of Eating. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co. Pp. 3-14.

  2. Lee RB. 1968. What Hunters Do for a Living, or, How to Make Out on Scarce Resources. In: Lee RB, Devore I. (eds.) Man the Hunter, Chicago: Aldine de Gruyter. Pp. 30–48.
  3. See Bindon's Rules for Writing Research Papers

  4. Assignment 1 (due by Wednesday January 16)

  5. Assignment 2 (due by the start of class January 28).

Additional items for 576:

  1. Harris, M. 1987. Foodways: historical overview and theoretical prolegomenon. In: Harris, M. and E. B. Ross (eds.) Food and Evolution: Toward a Theory of Human Food Habits. Philadelphia: Temple University Press. Pp. 57-90.

January 28

The Evolutionary Background

  1. Eaton SB, Konner M. 1985. Paleolithic nutrition: a consideration of its nature and current implications. The New England Journal of Medicine , 312(5):283-289.
  2. Leonard WR. 2002. Food for thought: dietary change was a driving force in human evolution. Scientific American, 287:106-112.

Additional items for 576:

  1. Teaford MF, Ungar PS. 2000. Diet and the evolution of the earliest human ancestors. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 97:13506–13511.
  2. Article Review

February 4

Requirements and Techniques

    1. Assignment 3
    2. Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005 (4.8 MB download)
    3. My Pryamid (personalized pyramid guidelines) Bring yours to class!
    4. Click here for the tables to convert the sum of skinfolds into an estimate of percent body fat

    Additional items for 576:

    1. Dwyer, J. T. 1991. Concept of nutritional status and its measurement. In: J. H. Himes (ed.) Anthropometric assessment of nutritional status. New York: Wiley-Liss. Pp. 5-28.

February 11

 

Biocultural Perspectives on Food and Nutrition: Intro, geophagy, toxins

  1. Assignment 4 (Due by start of class).
  2. Capporael L. 1976. Ergotism: The satan loosed in Salem? Science, 192:21-26.
  3. Pelto GH, Goodman AH, Dufour DL. 2000. The biocultural perspective in nutritional anthropology. In: Goodman AH, Dufour DL, Pelto GH. (eds.) Nutritional Anthropology: biocultural Perspectives on Food and Nutrition. Mountain View, CA: Mayfield Publishing Co. Pp. 1-9.

Additional items for 576:

  1. Hunter JM. 1973. Geophagy in Africa and in the United States: A Culture-Nutrition Hypothesis. Geographical Review, 63:170-195.
  2. Article Review

February 18

Biocultural Perspectives on Food and Nutrition: Preparation, Fava Beans, Lactose

  1. Katz, S. H. 1987. Food and biocultural evolution: a model for the investigation of modern nutritional problems. In: F. E. Johnston (ed.), Nutritional Anthropology. New York: Alan R. Liss. Pp. 41-63.
  2. Weiss KM. 2005. The reluctant calf. Evolutionary Anthropology 14:127–131.

Additional items for 576:

  1. Wilson WM, Dufour DL. 2002. Why "bitter" cassava? Productivity of "bitter" and "sweet" cassava in a Tukanoan Indian settlement in the northwest Amazon. Economic Botany, 56:49-57.
  2. Article Review

February 25

Writing a Research Paper

  1. Here's the link to the paper I suggest you could use for the format of your research paper.

March 3

Explaining Foodways: Materialist Approaches, Ideology, Symbolism, and Social Power

  1. RESEARCH PAPER DUE
  2. Farb, P. and G. Armelagos. 1980. Consuming Passions: The Anthropology of Eating. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co. Pp. 97-161.
  3. Harris M 1966. The cultural ecology of India’s sacred cattle. Current Anthropology, 7:51-66.

Additional items for 576:

  1. Oths KS . 2003. Social status and food preference in southern Brazil. Ecology of Food and Nutrition, 42:303–324.
  2. Article Review

March 10

FIRST EXAM (NO CLASS MEETING)

March 24

Variation in Contemporary Food Habits: Foragers, Farmers, and Agricultural Origins

  1. Lee RB. 1968. What Hunters Do for a Living, or, How to Make Out on Scarce Resources. In: Lee RB, Devore I. (eds.) Man the Hunter, Chicago: Aldine de Gruyter. Pp. 30–48.
  2. Johnson, A. and M. Baksh. 1987. Ecological and structural influences on the proportions of wild foods in the diets of two Machiguenga communities. In: Harris, M. and E. B. Ross (eds.) Food and Evolution: Toward a Theory of Human Food Habits. Philadelphia: Temple University Press. Pp. 387-406.

Additional items for 576:

  1. Article Review

March 31

Variation in Contemporary Food Habits: Industrialization and Globalization

  1. Pelto GH. 1987. Social Class and Diet in Contemporary Mexico. In: Harris M, Ross EB (eds.) Food and Evolution: Toward a Theory of Human Food Habits. Philadelphia: Temple University Press. Pp. 517-540.
  2. Assignment 5 (paper reviews), due before class on April 5

Additional items for 576:

  1. Pelto GH. 1987. Social Class and Diet in Contemporary Mexico. In: Harris M, Ross EB (eds.) Food and Evolution: Toward a Theory of Human Food Habits. Philadelphia: Temple University Press. Pp. 517-540.
  2. Article Review

April 7

Obesity

  1. Bindon JR, Gilliland MJ, Dressler WW, Crews DE. 2007. A Cross-Cultural Perspective on Obesity and Health in Three Groups of Women: The Mississippi Choctaw, American Samoans, and African Americans. Collegium Antropologicum, 31:47-54.
  2. Brown PJ, Konner M. 1987. An anthropological perspective on obesity. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 499: 29-46.

Additional items for 576:

  1. Lev-Ran A. 2001. Human obesity: an evolutionary approach to understanding our bulging waistline. Diabetes/Metabolism Research and Reviews, 17: 347–362.
  2. Article Review

April 14

Food Habits in Samoa

  1. REVISED PAPER DUE

  2. Bindon, J. R. 1982. Breadfruit, banana, beef, and beer: modernization of the Samoan diet. Ecology of Food and Nutrition, 12:49-60.
  3. Bindon, J. R. 1984. An evaluation of the diet of three groups of Samoan adults: modernization and dietary adequacy. Ecology of Food and Nutrition, 14:105-115.

  4. Bindon, J. R. 1988. Taro or rice, plantation or market: dietary choice in American Samoa. Food and Foodways, 3:59-78.

  5. Bindon, J.R. 1994. Some implications of the diet of children in American Samoa. Collegium Anthropologicum, 18:7-15.

April 21

Student Presentations

  1. Presentations will be listed here
  2. All presentations due prior to the start of class

  3. Assignment 6

April 28

Student Presentations

  1. Presentations will be listed here
  2. Assignment 6

May 5

SECOND EXAM: Monday, May 5, 11:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

BOOKS on reserve at library:

COURSE DESCRIPTION:  This course provides a detailed introduction to the study of human nutrition from an anthropological perspective.  Biological, ecological, and social factors influencing diet and nutrition are considered.  The principal aims of the course are as follows:

This course carries "W" designation, therefore writing proficiency is required for a passing grade.  Aside from the paper outline each writing assignment, including the two essay exams, requires carefully edited prose and will be graded for intellectual content, originality, comprehension of reading material, coherence, logic, organization, grammar, punctuation, spelling, and prose style.  The  course grade will be determined by scores on the two exams, the various components of the research paper, the in-class presentation, and participation in class.  Writing proficiency is an absolute requirement for passing this course.  The course assignments and their contribution to your grade are listed in the table on the next page.