Human Diet and Nutrition in Biocultural Perspective: Past Meets Present

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Tina Moffat, Tracy Prowse
Berghahn Books, Dec 30, 2010 - Medical - 282 pages
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There are not many areas that are more rooted in both the biological and social-cultural aspects of humankind than diet and nutrition. Throughout human history nutrition has been shaped by political, economic, and cultural forces, and in turn, access to food and nutrition has altered the course and direction of human societies. Using a biocultural approach, the contributors to this volume investigate the ways in which food is both an essential resource fundamental to human health and an expression of human culture and society. The chapters deal with aspects of diet and human nutrition through space and time and span prehistoric, historic, and contemporary societies spread over various geographical regions, including Europe, North America, Africa, and Asia to highlight how biology and culture are inextricably linked.


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A Biocultural Approach to Human Diet and Nutrition
I Evolutionary Perspectiveson Nutrition
Chapter 1 What Did Humans Evolve to Eat?
Chapter 2 Child Growth among Southern African Foragers in the Past
Chapter 3 Infant and Young Child Feeding in Human Evolution
Nutrition throughout the Life Course
Chapter 4 The Use of Stable Isotope Analysis to Determine Infant and Young Child Feeding Patterns
Chapter 5 A Community in Transition
Chapter 7 Responses to a Food Crisis and Child Malnutrition in the Nigerien Sahel
IV Nutritional Factors in Growth and Disease
Chapter 8 Growth Morbidity and Mortality in Antiquity
Chapter 9 Examining Nutritional Aspects of Bone Loss and Fragility across the Life Course in Bioarchaeology
Chapter 10 Obesity
Diet and Nutrition in Biocultural Perspective
Notes on Contributors

III Food Insecurity and Malnutrition
Chapter 6 Dietary Diversity Dietary Transitions and Childhood Nutrition in Nepal

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About the author (2010)

Tina Moffat is Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology at McMaster University. Her research focuses on child health and nutrition in relation to environmental health and urban ecosystems. She has authored and co-authored numerous scholarly journal publications on child growth and infant feeding in Nepal and nutritional well-being and obesity among North American school-children.

Tracy Prowse is Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at McMaster University. Her research explores diet and health in past populations using paleopathological and isotopic analyses of human bones and teeth. She has published on the paleodiet of Roman Italy in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology and the Journal of Archaeological Science.

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