A biocultural study of the linkages between economic and social insecurity, diet quality, and obesity in urban Mexican adults

Lead Research Organisation: University of Bristol
Department Name: Sch for Policy Studies


The proposed project aims to test the association between socio-economic insecurity, diet and obesity in adults in Mexico City using interdisciplinary approaches from anthropology, social policy, and nutrition. Insecurity, defined as the inability to access or accumulate sufficient resources to protect against adverse future circumstances, has been linked to greater abdominal obesity in a few studies conducted in affluent western societies. However, to date no study has identified how socio-economic insecurity, food insecurity and obesity interact at the individual level in Low-and-Middle income countries. The few studies that have explored this link have only assessed either food insecurity, or inequality but on a population level. Using a novel bio-cultural approach combining qualitative anthropological research methods and quantitative measures of insecurity, dietary patterns, and anthropometry, this research project will determine the plausibility of the 'welfare hypothesis', which links weak national welfare structures with obesity.In a (post) COVID-19 society, this study will generate key insights around the effects of welfare protections in crisis situations, and the direct links between magnified insecurity and mental wellbeing, diet, and body weight.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
ES/P000630/1 01/10/2017 30/09/2027
2573086 Studentship ES/P000630/1 01/10/2021 30/09/2025 Geneviève Lola Stone