Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation


A Political Ecology Lens for the Nutrition Transition in Rural, Kedougou, Senegal Public Deposited

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  • The nutrition transition is a global phenomenon in which populations move from low socioeconomic status (SES) to high SES and from high physical activity to low physical activity. Rising rates of urbanization and non-communicable diseases in West Africa may indicate an advanced phase of the nutrition transition; however, through a case study in rural, Kedougou, Senegal, this study suggests that the transition is not homogeneous across the country based on comparisons with other regions and national statistics in Senegal. From April – October 2016, qualitative methods were used to address three research objectives: 1) to determine how diets were changing, 2) to understand what was influencing changes in diet, and 3) to explore some of the implications of change in diet. Participant observation, one-on-one and joint interviews (n=25 total informants), and a 60-day food log were triangulated with peer-reviewed literature and global health statistics to answer the objectives. Dietary changes included widespread use of bouillon seasoning, vegetable oil, and white rice, as well as a loss of local, traditional foods and medicines (e.g. Parkia biglobosa, Vitellaria paradoxa, and dairy). Informants were concerned about their changing diets and subsequent changing health, but felt that these changes were out of their control. A political ecology lens shed light on various scales of power dynamics that influenced health and diets in the region: household scales (gender roles), regional scales (gold mining industry), and international scales (globalized, dependent food systems). Informants living in forest communities are changing their forest use, habits or patterns, which includes collection of food resources from the forest. This study suggests that these changes in forest use and a subsequent change in diet (substitution of forest resources with imported foods) have health implications. Future research should examine the implications of changing diets on the environment because changes in forest use might be changing forest stewardship and management of forest resources. Future research concerning longitudinal, anthropometric data could also offer information about long-term nutritional deficiencies across generations from changing diets in the region.
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  • Lucey, T. K. (2017). A Political Ecology Lens for the Nutrition Transition in Rural, Kedougou, Senegal (master's thesis). Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon.
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  • Pending Publication
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  • 2017-12-12 to 2020-01-13



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