Admittedly, I got lost these past few weeks in the never-ending storm of school. One of those time when lifting my head to breath felt like I was wasting precious time.
Okay, that’s potentially an exaggeration. I have, however, not read one page of anything that wasn’t a textbook or a journal article for the past 3 weeks. But Alison told me: Science counts! So I’m cashing in. I’m all science all the time, and my estimation of what I’ve read for the past 7 weeks is: 1256 pages. I may just make it to 2018.
The majority of my pages have been about the “Double Burden of Malnutrition.” In a nutshell, this is when conditions of undernutrition (like underweight or having iron deficiency) coexist with conditions of overnutrition (like overweight or obesity). You may even find examples of obese mothers living in the same household as severely underweight children. This paradox is generally found in developing low- and middle-income countries due to a (relatively) recent influx of cheaper Western food that is high in calories and low in nutrition. As this food becomes more available to food insecure populations, the “double burden” public health crisis grows.
I don’t know the answer or the way out of this crisis, but I was thinking about a quote Nadia included in her last blog post regarding Nelson’s take on Susan Sontag’s works: “the function of criticism should be to show how it is, what it is, even that it is, rather than to show what it means.”
I feel like this is often the culprit in science: We can critically show how it is or what it is, but we often don’t know what it means (also the beauty of science). In all my reading about the double burden, the purpose of what I (and my crew) is hoping to do is find a concise definition to say what it means. Because if we can find what it means, maybe we can work on a way out? I’m sure that’s presumptuous of me. Sometimes definitions, and criticisms, are too limiting. But sometimes they provide a needed jumping off point. I’m hoping for the latter.