NOTES
1
Field-work was carried out in a South London Diabetes Day Centre between 1993-5 for a doctoral thesis, funded by an ESRC studentship. Over this period direct observations were made in all types of medical encounter, many being tape-recorded, and I interviewed patients both before and after their contact with the medical staff.
2
This tenet is central to the biomedical conception of diabetes mellitus, which is diagnosed on the basis of blood sugar levels above what is considered the normal range, currently as determined by the World Health Organisation (WHO 1980).
3
The main biomedical conditions that some have classed as a single disease are obesity, heart disease and diabetes mellitus. However, such other ailments as tooth decay have also been included under the biomedical premise that a single cause means that medicine is ultimately dealing with a single disease.
4
Figures given by glucose meters register the amount of glucose in millimoles per litre of blood. The range for somebody who does not have diabetes fluctuates between 3 and 7.5 mml. Anything more than 10 mml implies that the metabolic system is not functioning well, and itself often serves as a diagnosis and definition of diabetes mellitus.

REFERENCES
Anderson, E.N. (1988) The Food of China, New Haven: Yale University Press.
Ashton, J. and Seymour, H. (1988) The New Public Health, Milton Keynes: Open University Press.
Bunton, R. and Macdonald, G. (eds.) (1993) Health Promotion: Disciplines and Diversity, London and New York: Routledge.
Csordas, T.J. (ed.) (1994) Embodiment and Experience: The Existential Ground of Culture and Self, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Douglas, M. (1972) ‘Deciphering a meal’, Daedalus 101, 1:61-81.
Fischler, C. (1987) ‘Attitudes towards sugar and sweetness in historical and social perspective’, in J. Dobbing (ed.) Sweetness, Berlin: Springer.
Foster, G.M. (1987) ‘On the origin of humoral medicine in Latin America’, Medical Anthropology Quarterly 1:355-93.
Hahn, R.A. (1985) ‘A world of internal medicine: portrait of an internist’, in R.A. Hahn and A.D. Gaines (eds) Physicians of Western Medicine, Dordrecht: D. Reidel Publishing Co.
Helman, C.G. (1992) Culture, Health and Illness: An Introduction for Health Professionals , Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann.
Lawrence, R. (1965) The Diabetic Life, London, Churchill Ltd.
Lévi-Strauss, C. (1965) ‘The culinary triangle’, Partisan Review 33:586-95.
Lupton, D. (1996) Food, the Body and the Self, London: Sage.

-211-

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