Public health officials estimate that India is among the global leaders of metabolic disease, specifically obesity and diabetes. In Metabolic Living, Harris Solomon shows how illness and social life interrelate in this context. The book examines how people in Mumbai experience the permeability of food, fat, the body, and the city. Solomon illustrates how this permeability takes shape as the lived predicaments of metabolic disease.
Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork carried out in Mumbai's home kitchens, metabolic disorder clinics, food companies, markets, and social services, the author details the absorption of everything from snack foods and mangoes to insulin, stress, and pollutants. Solomon contends that the onset and treatment of metabolic illness raise questions about who has the power to decide what goes into bodies and how much permeability people can ultimately bear. Evoking metabolism as a vital condition of urban life, Solomon reorients our understanding of chronic illness in India and beyond.
This book will be of interest to readers concerned with health and medicine in India and globally, and with the everyday life of food in urban India. It will be useful to students and scholars of anthropology and sociology, critical studies of the body, global health, and urban studies