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Distinguished Professor of Global Nutrition Margaret (Peggy) Bentley and UNC graduate Rachel Page recently traveled to the Galapagos Islands to pioneer health research for the mothers of young children.

Mothers on Isla Isabela shared their self-perception of body size through silhouettes and used similar anthropomorphic tools to indicate preferable body size for their children. The research paired this process with open-ended questions designed to elicit further understanding of body size perceptions.

The findings suggest that mothers prefer a smaller body size for themselves and a larger body size for their children.

Research results raise concerns of a dual burden of body weights within households and for the potential of nutrition related chronic disease.

Perceptions of Body Size in Mothers and Their Young Children in the Galapagos Islands, published in the Maternal and Child Health Journal, grants better understanding into important health and nutrition issues. The publication provides future efforts with valuable context pertaining to the ongoing nutrition transition affecting the islands.

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