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Chapter 1 asks: How does fat get into individual and collective bodies? This chapter is concerned with absorption between past and present times. It elaborates the feature of bodily plasticity by questioning the condition of “globesity,” the supposed West-to-East flow of capital and consumerist desires that sparked India’s collective weight gain. It maps historical and literary portraits of fatness in India and details how globesity presumes a national vulnerability through comparisons of bodies experiencing newfound prosperity. Claims of obesity’s emergence in India impelled physicians to change national guidelines for the Body Mass Index, and how overnight, millions of Indians were...

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