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Food and childhood pathologies and social representations among the ewondo of Cameroon


In the Third World, childhood pathologies are associated with malnutrition and, above all, environmental conditions. However, there are pathological foci that are not linked to these two entities. We have a range of morbidities which are the result of the diet of either the mother or the child. These are morbidities considered to be endo-cultural. An approach to pathology that finds meaning and a solution in the perspective of a particular cultural entity, and for which it has its foundation. This is reflected in dietary prohibitions. The relationship between diet and morbidity makes perfect sense here. In fact, we have childhood pathologies that are the result of parents' failure to respect social and dietary prohibitions. In the light of a few examples, we can see how these two particularities of human and child life are linked. Using an ethnographic approach to the issue of food, we relate the childhood morbidities that Ewondo socioculture includes in its childhood nosology to the related perceptions and representations. Childhood illnesses are not caused by the environment or malnutrition, but rather by the culture and its vision of the world and of things.


food, childhood pathologies, social representations, Ewondo