This article explores women’s reactions to public health nutrition work in Guatemala,
looking specifically at multi-micronutrients, or sprinkles. This anthropological research
was carried out in two rural communities in Chiquimula, one of which was in the Maya Ch’orti’
region, during the 2017 seasonal period of scarcity. Taking as a starting point the limitations of
a medicalised approach to malnutrition, this article discusses how multi-micronutrients are ill-suited
as a solution for child malnutrition in situations of precarity. Though they are designed
to be physiologically effective in reducing nutrition deficiencies in the body, they appear less
useful once socio-economic conditions are considered. Women’s experience with malnutrition
emergencies will be explored to show how health decision-making must be understood in
relation to their social context as well as to their expectations for the future.
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