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Evolving Human Nutrition
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Book description

While most of us live our lives according to the working week, we did not evolve to be bound by industrial schedules, nor did the food we eat. Despite this, we eat the products of industrialization and often suffer as a consequence. This book considers aspects of changing human nutrition from evolutionary and social perspectives. It considers what a 'natural' human diet might be, how it has been shaped across evolutionary time and how we have adapted to changing food availability. The transition from hunter-gatherer and the rise of agriculture through to the industrialisation and globalisation of diet are explored. Far from being adapted to a 'Stone Age' diet, humans can consume a vast range of foodstuffs. However, being able to eat anything does not mean that we should eat everything, and therefore engagement with the evolutionary underpinnings of diet and factors influencing it are key to better public health practice.

Reviews

'Spanning the diverse fields of nutrition ecology, anthropology, biochemistry, and physiology, this three-part, well-written examination of the public health implications of the rapidly changing human diet is filled with carefully documented arguments that invite critical thought. Recommended.'

A. P. Boyar Source: Choice

'… this book brings together a wide range of issues and highlights how contemporary human nutrition is embedded in the contexts of our primate heritage, our hominin ancestry, and our inter-twined histories and modes of social organization. In this way, the book is successful in its aim of going beyond the conventional assumption that modern diets can damage health because our biology remains adapted to a somewhat nebulous ‘paleo-diet’.'

Jonathan Wells Source: American Journal of Human Biology

'This is an extremely eclectic book that covers the evolutionary background, medical effects, and sociopolitical context of our food.'

Grant A. Rutledge and Michael R. Rose Source: The Quarterly Review of Biology

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