Table of Contents
Journal of Anthropology
Volume 2013, Article ID 873612, 9 pages
Research Article

Nutritional Taboos among the Fullas in Upper River Region, The Gambia

1Department of Physiatrics and Nursing, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Zaragoza, C/Domingo Miral s/n, 50009 Zaragoza, Spain
2University of Barcelona, 08007 Barcelona, Spain

Received 24 April 2013; Revised 6 July 2013; Accepted 7 July 2013

Academic Editor: Kaushik Bose

Copyright © 2013 Guillermo Martínez Pérez and Anna Pascual García. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Malnutrition is one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality of children in the world. In The Gambia, malnutrition is one of the major public health problems. Among the factors determining its high prevalence, cultural norms play a crucial role. Food taboos influence the amount, frequency, and quality of nutrients that mothers and children consume. In this qualitative study carried out in the Upper River Region, The Gambia, seventeen mothers whose ethnic affiliation is Fulla were interviewed. The objective was to describe their food taboos and how they influence their nutritional health. The findings of this study demonstrate that some of the taboos practiced by the Fulla may be regarded as contributing factors to protein-energy malnutrition in children and pregnant and lactating women. The findings will inform the design of future health education strategies targeting malnutrition in this specific cultural context.