Feeding Babies, Feeding Inequalities: An Examination of Changing Economic Activity, Infant Feeding, and Early Growth in Nuñoa, Peru


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships




This research examines how social and economic inequalities are perpetuated in populations through the biological and social mechanism of infant feeding. Cultural, ecological, and economic forces influence infant feeding patterns that in turn affect infant health, growth, and later life outcomes. The research is conducted in the highland district of Nuñoa, Peru, where development efforts and infrastructural growth are fueling increasing socioeconomic stratification among a once relatively homogenous population. This study uses qualitative and quantitative methods, including participant observation, interviews, household surveys, and health measures, to show that in the context of emergent economies, improved socioeconomic status does not always translate into straightforward improvements in health.