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Energy balance, health and fecundity among Bhutia women of Gangtok, Sikkim, India
Williams, Sharon R

2003, Doctor of Philosophy, Ohio State University, Anthropology.
Health is a complex construct dependent on socio-cultural, economic and biological factors. The concept of health is very complicated; the expression of health is the result of the interaction of many biological, economic and cultural factors and includes both psychological and biological well-being. Health is not static. Humans are plastic, able to respond both behaviorally and biologically to stressors that threaten their well-being. The range of adaptive responses is highly variable and has long been an area of interest to Anthropologists. Human life history responds to stressors. Among women, the reproductive span is particularly sensitive to the environment. Fertility and its biological correlate fecundity are responsive to external stressors and often reflect the health and well-being of women in their environment. This research documents how differences in social settings, health, physical environment and biology interact and affect urban Bhutia women in Sikkim, India and contribute to the low fertility in this population. Individual variables such as nutrition, workloads and health have been found to significantly influence female fecundity by altering the levels of the hormones that make reproduction possible. While the contributions of these individual factors have been studied in detail, very little is known about the interactive effects of these three variables. Moreover, these three variables are significantly impacted by the changes associated with economic and social development and urbanization. Results of this study show that seasonal climatic variation significantly affects urban Bhutia women, their health and well-being. Measurements of energy balance, health, psychosocial stress and fecundity reflect changes in environment. However, responses of these variables to seasonal stressors were not consistent. Seasonal patterns in changes in energy balance, health status and fecundity were unique. Results of this study suggest that health measures influenced by anthropometric measures were not the ones impacting measures of fecundity in this sample of Bhutia women. The complex interactions between biology, behavior and environment and their influence on health and reproduction are reinforced by the results presented here.
Douglas Crews (Advisor)
217 p.

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Williams, S. (2003). Energy balance, health and fecundity among Bhutia women of Gangtok, Sikkim, India. (Electronic Thesis or Dissertation). Retrieved from https://etd.ohiolink.edu/

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Williams, Sharon. "Energy balance, health and fecundity among Bhutia women of Gangtok, Sikkim, India." Electronic Thesis or Dissertation. Ohio State University, 2003. OhioLINK Electronic Theses and Dissertations Center. 19 Feb 2018.

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Williams, Sharon "Energy balance, health and fecundity among Bhutia women of Gangtok, Sikkim, India." Electronic Thesis or Dissertation. Ohio State University, 2003. https://etd.ohiolink.edu/

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