Biomedical health professionals express increasing concern that rising consumption of soft drinks and processed foods in Mayan and Latin American eating patterns may lead to detrimental nutritional and health consequences. Scholars debate whether the pervading presence of Coca-Cola
and Pepsi in developing countries represents “Coca-Colonization,” synonymous with cultural imperialism, or cultural hybridization. Using mixed qualitative and quantitative research methods, including participant observation and semi-structured interviews, this study explores the
development of Coca-Colonization and cultural hybridization among the Tz'utujil Maya of Santiago Atitlán, Guatemala. By specifically examining biomedical perspectives, cycles of conquest, the political economy, religion, celebrations, and the physical environment through the lens of
soft drinks, this study finds that Coca-Colonization and cultural hybridization are complementary rather than mutually exclusive processes that contribute to dietary transitions, economic development, and differential health beliefs related to soft drink consumption.
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Document Type: Research Article
Health and Societies Program, Department of History and Sociology of Science,University of Pennsylvania, PhiladelphiaPennsylvania, USA
Department of Anthropology and Department of Family Medicine and Community Health,University of Pennsylvania, PhiladelphiaPennsylvania, USA
Department of Anthropology,University of Pennsylvania, PhiladelphiaPennsylvania, USA
Department of Family Medicine and Community Health,University of Pennsylvania, PhiladelphiaPennsylvania, USA
Publication date: 2011-07-01
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