Understanding Food and Diet Pattern during Pregnancy among the Chamar Women in Rural Uttar Pradesh: Perceptions and Practices

Journal of the Anthropological Survey of India, 65(1) : (23-37), 2016

Understanding Food and Diet Pattern during Pregnancy among the Chamar Women in Rural Uttar Pradesh: Perceptions and Practices

Pooja Gupta
GB Pant Social Science Institute, Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh

Abstract
Food and diet pattern determine nutrition and health status of individual and community as well. Food and diet pattern are much significant for women and girls of reproductive age owing to their nutritional vulnerability during their reproductive careers. Reproductive careers being bio-cultural phenomena subjected to many prohibitions and prescriptions regarding food and diet pattern. Considering these points, present paper aims to investigate the perceptions and practices regarding food and diet intake during pregnancy with special reference to the Chamar women in a village of Uttar Pradesh. The study observed that among the women ‘eating down’; a contributory factor in low intake of nutrient is practiced during pregnancy. Fear for obstructed labour and lack of toilet facility have been reported as justifications for practice of ‘eating down’. The field data analysis reveals that perceptions and practices regarding food and diet intake during pregnancy is embedded into class and culture matrix. Methodology of the study comprises of empirical data taken from an ethnographic field work during a period from June 2011 to June 2012.

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