Mitochondrial mothers of a fat nation: Race, gender and epigenetics in obesity research on Mexican mestizos View Full Text


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Article Info

DATE

2017-12-04

AUTHORS

Abril Saldaña-Tejeda

ABSTRACT

This paper explores scientific and medical discourses on genetics and epigenetics in the context of the increasing rates of obesity and diabetes among Mexican mestizos. It draws on semi-structured interviews with 9 Mexican geneticists that are currently involved in genomic population or genomic medical research linked to diabetes and/or obesity and with 10 medical staff working directly or indirectly with the child obesity clinic at Federico Gómez Children’s Hospital in Mexico City. It looks briefly at scientific discourses that link the very high rates of obesity among Mexican mestizos to an alleged genetic predisposition seen as part of their indigenous heritage. The paper argues that this reinforces the gendered and racialized meanings of mestizaje (mixture) and the hierarchies that this biocultural construct has historically entailed. The paper then looks in depth at the tensions in epigenetic research on obesity, analysing the narratives of the geneticists and doctors interviewed. It shows how mothers are defined as the main channel for the epigenetic modification of bodies and generations, thus intensifying women’s maternal responsibilities for the health of the nation. More... »

PAGES

434-452

Identifiers

URI

http://scigraph.springernature.com/pub.10.1057/s41292-017-0078-8

DOI

http://dx.doi.org/10.1057/s41292-017-0078-8

DIMENSIONS

https://app.dimensions.ai/details/publication/pub.1093157212


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