2007 Bronislaw Malinowski Award Recipient
Gretel Pelto was born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Her undergraduate education was at Bennington College, where she majored in dance and literature; she completed a BA in Sociology (1963) at the University of Minnesota, followed by an MA (1967) and Ph.D (1970) in anthropology from the University of Minnesota. In 1996 she was also awarded an honorary doctorate in nutrition from the University of Helsinki, in recognition of her work in furthering the development of nutritional anthropology in Finland. She was awarded Fellow status in the American Society for Nutrition in 2005. Her primary academic appointments have been in nutrition departments: (University of Connecticut: 1976-1992; Cornell University: 1999-present) where her teaching focused on maternal and child nutrition, community nutrition, and most recently, program planning and policy. From 1992-1999, she was in charge of behavioral research in the Division of Child Health at the World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland. Her field research has centered mainly in Mexico, and she has also been associated with studies in other parts of the world: in Latin America, in Asia (China, Viet Nam, Philippines, Pakistan) and in (Cameroon, South Africa, Tanzania). The substantive focus of her research is on infant and young child feeding and household management of illness in infants and children. Her theoretical and social focus is on the interface between programs (including intervention design and evaluation) and families and communities. Throughout her career she has taken an active role in fostering applied nutritional and medical anthropology through journal editing, service on national and international research and policy committees, and in anthropology and nutritional organizations.