Society for the Anthropology of Food and Nutrition
Society for Medical Anthropology
Cosponsored - Oral Presentation Session
Widespread food insecurity often accompanies economic sanctions, an action that wages war quietly on the plates and health of the communities upon which sanctions are imposed. The adversity experienced by parents during economic sanctions can be biologically and socially inherited in their children through biological and social mechanisms, perpetuating health disparities for generations. Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait spurred the United Nations to levy heavy economic sanctions against Iraq in 1990, providing a mechanism that reinforced and worsened health disparities in the country through familial experiences of food insecurity. Semi-structured interviews were collected among 70 households in Slemani, Iraqi Kurdistan with children born during the 1990s. Analyses illustrate that food insecurity was widespread, new mothers used a variety of infant feeding strategies to cope with food insecurity, and families currently connect many of their chronic health diagnoses to their experiences of severe food insecurity during the 1990s.