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The Potential of Auxological Data for Monitoring Economic and Social Well-Being

  • J. M. Tanner (a1)


Auxology, the study of physical growth (from auxein, to increase), has long been pressed into service as a measure of human welfare. In the sixteenth century Levinus Lemnius, doctor and later priest in the Low Countries, castigated “schoolmasters and others that take upon them to teach and boord young boyes (and) pinch their poore Pupils and Boorders by the belly, and allow them meate neither sufficient nor yet wholesome.” “Whereby it cometh to passe,” he continued,

That in growth they seldome come to any personable stature, to the use of their full powers, to perfect strength and firmity of their members, or to any handsome feature or composition of bodily proportion: and the cause is for that in their tender and growing age, being kept under by famine and skanted of common meate and drinke, their natural moisture which requireth continuall cherishing and maintenance, was skanted and bebarred of his due nourishment and competent allowance [English translation of 1633, The Touchstone of Complexions, original 1561; see Tanner, 1981: 25].



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The Potential of Auxological Data for Monitoring Economic and Social Well-Being

  • J. M. Tanner (a1)


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