The 89th Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists (2020)

Diet modification following the alteration of traditional adaptive strategies and community development in Maya maize agriculturalists from Yucatan, Mexico


Sustainability Science, El Colegio de la Frontera Sur

April 16, 2020 12, Platinum Ballroom Add to calendar

Two seasonal food frequency questionnaires were conducted during the 2017-18 agricultural cycle from Maya maize agriculturalists in two types of rural towns in central Yucatan, Mexico: those that offer nontraditional employment, rapid access to large cities, and have many grocery stores; and smaller communities which lack any local nontraditional labor opportunities, depend on poor transportation networks and infrastructure, and have few if any food stores. In this study we seek to understand the specific effect of community growth and degree of abandonment of traditional adaptive strategies on diet. We expected that alteration of traditional adaptive strategies would reduce seasonality and have a greater effect on foods consumed than town development. We ran a repeated measures analysis of variance between seasons holding Household Adaptive Strategy and Community Type as Inter-Subjects factors on the sum of all foods consumed per type as classified by the WHO. A significant interaction effect between seasonality, local development, and transformation of traditional adaptive strategies was encountered. Seasonal variation affected all households. In transformed households, this variation reduced micronutrient consumption and increased sugar intake relative to traditional one's; a process that was exacerbated in developed communities. If adaptive strategy alteration was not accompanied by community development, it brought a significant reduction in micro and macro nutrient consumption. Curiously, the diet of traditional households changed little with community development, although they did reduce fat and sugar intake in the larger towns.

The data for this presentation was obtained from CONACYT-240697 research grant.