Background: Concern for the body and dietary practices of risk are two topics that in recent years have gained interest among nutritionists, who have observed these characteristics in urban population, particularly in women of different ages. Studies in rural areas with mestizo and indigenous peoples of Mexico evidence that the problem occurs between the poor and marginalized female population. Objective: to study the body perception of Mayan women living in areas of Mexico. Methods: The investigation took place in two phases, a quantitative one, in which a questionnaire with open and closed questions was applied, and a qualitative one, which consisted of focus groups. Women from the Maya community of Chun-Yah in the state of Quintana Roo were weighed and measured, they were also asked to choose an anatomical figure they identified according to their perception. Results: BMI, body perception and desire to have a certain body was obtained. 51 Maya women were surveyed in the first phase, they had an average weight of 65 Kg, height of 1.42 m and a BMI of 31.5 kg/m2. More than half of them perceived themselves thin. During the focus groups an ambivalence between perception and desire was detected, since fatness is not so stigmatized in the community. Conclusions: the need for more empirical studies on rural populations was observed as well as the need to discuss other categories of analysis different from the biomedical, such as medicalization, lipophobia, medical discourse, among others, in order to gain greater clarity on the subject of overweight and obesity in both urban and rural areas.
Keywords: perception, feeding behavior, feeding methods, women, body mass index, Quintana Roo, Mexico