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It also plays a role in the prevention of heart diseases and type 2 diabetes. Aerobic activities are continuous activities that cause the heart rate and breathing rate to increase. To prevent dehydration, encourage your teen to drink fluid regularly during physical activity. Examples of vigorous activities may include:. For teens, daily exercise may help prevent conditions such as obesity, high blood pressure, and abnormal cholesterol levels, as well as poor lifestyle habits that lead to heart attack and stroke later in life. Exercise on a regular basis is part of a healthy lifestyle.

But some teenagers can exercise too much. If your teen begins losing weight and falls below expected growth patterns, or if exercise interferes with other normal activities including school, you should talk with your teen's healthcare provider. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Stokes, J. III; Noren, J. Primary Health Care. Geneva: Author. Targets for Health for All. Copenhagen: Author. Cite this article Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography. September 22, Retrieved September 22, from Encyclopedia. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia. It will be the purpose of this article to develop some concepts about health and disease, exploring a few implications of the WHO definition in the context of both Western and non-Western medical ideas. First, notions of singular and multiple causation of disease will be contrasted. Second, three types of ideas about health will be defined.

Finally, some applications of the health concept to units beyond the human individual will be mentioned. Illness is a disvalued process that impairs the functioning or appearance of a human person and may ultimately lead to death. The definition of health given by the WHO includes social as well as physical and mental well-being. This reflects a concern with the person as a member of human groups—an entity certainly not limited to the body of that person. The components of an individual e. The death of the organism, however, is a biological constant which is taken into account conceptually in all cultures, and customs prescribe how the disposition of the corpse is to be arranged.

Different components of the individual may be thought to depart from the presence of the living at different times, and these various departures are marked by a series of ceremonies van Gennep [] , pp. Disease, then, may involve a temporary or permanent impairment in the functioning of any single component, or of the relationship between components making up the individual.

An impairment of a person, furthermore, need not be re stricted to a decrease in his ability to function in his ordinary ways: for example, among the Ashanti of West Africa, a congenital birthmark which leads to no discomfort or danger of death can be considered a sufficiently severe fault to disqualify a man from the office of chief. In many cultures, theories of disease will include explanations of congenital defects or imperfections, and the distinction between these and other illnesses may become relevant for further analysis Polgar Explanations of illness are not only useful to reaffirm the values of a social unit or to make death psychologically more tolerable for the next of kin but serve most immediately to indicate courses of preventive and curative action.

To effect prevention or cure one should identify a course of events which presumably has produced the impairment. Herein lies the rationale of diagnosis, which is one of the three basic elements of all medical systems the other two being therapy and prophylaxis.

During the last decades of the nineteenth and the early part of the twentieth century, Western medicine was heavily dominated by the notion that most diseases are a result of infection caused by microorganisms. He does not imply, of course, that demons and germs are equally valid concepts in an empirical sense. Although a number of vaccines and antitoxins had been developed before the turn of the century, it was not until the s that the sulfa drugs were discovered, and it was another decade later that penicillin came to be used. The great decreases in the mortality of children and young adults, which are nowadays often attributed to clinical medicine and the use of specific drugs, actually preceded these discoveries and mostly resulted from better nutrition and the hygienic measures carried out under the leadership of medical reformers, many of whom had even opposed the germ theory of disease Rosen , pp.

In the contemporary practice of clinical medi cine, the inadequate care often received by patients unfortunate enough to suffer from a disability for which no specific etiology can be identified is symptomatic of the legacy of the bacteriological era.

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The recent theoretical developments away from the doctrine of specific etiology are spearheaded by advocates of comprehensive medical care and psychosomatic medicine and by some epidemiologists. All three of these segments of the medical community regard illness as an interaction of many factors and, cor respondingly, favor treatment of patients once more as total organisms in a complex setting.

One of the foremost modern exponents of this view is the epidemiologist John Gordon, who has shown the interplay of the host, the agent, and the physi cal, biological, and social environment in the spread of a good number of both infectious and noninfectious diseases see, for example, Gordon The studies of John Cassel, another noted epidemiologist, on the spectrum of health disorders resulting from independently documented socio-cultural processes exemplify a further step away from the one cause-one disease manner of thinking Cassel Comprehensive medical care is more than a movement to improve the institutional means by which patients and sometimes families are medically supervised.

The theory that underlies these arrangements includes rejection of both the dominant disease orientation of modern Western medicine and the organic-functional dichotomy, and it places a strong em phasis on the patient as a person Steiger et al. Multicausal conceptions of disease are neither new in the Western medical tradition nor unique to it. One main theme in the Hippocratic writings is that disease is to be traced to an imbalance be tween the person and his external environment; much emphasis is also given to the relationships among different environmental factors, such as exercise and diet, and to the connections between disturbances in an organ and the whole body Sigerist , vol.

In non-Western socie ties there are many multicausal ideas about disease. Related to this division between predisposing and precipitating factors is the division between the reasons why a particular person becomes ill at a particular time and the explanation of the way in which it happens. These latter two types of causes may be termed incidence notions and etiological notions Polgar , pp. In small tribal or peasant communities, the as signment of responsibility for illness to a relative or neighbor whose departure from prescribed norms of behavior is pinpointed as a breach of taboo, witchcraft, irresponsibility, or sin helps to bring latent interpersonal conflicts into the open where they are more easily resolved Paul ; Firth , pp.

Similarly in the Judeo-Christian tradition the attribution of illness to sin ful behavior served to reinforce the mores of the society. Two main variants of the asymptotic notion about health can be identified. Grand designs of physiological, physical, and metaphysical order —each replicating the elements of the other—are typical of classical times. For Rousseau and his followers, the ills that beset Western society are consequences of the departure from a perfect state of harmony with nature that is entailed in the process of becoming civilized.

In operational terms, the asymptotic definition of health is mostly negative; it implies the absence of manifest disturbance. While this notion has advantages in focusing attention on the nonexistence of a clear break between the presence or absence of disease, by the same token it makes for difficulties in conducting health surveys and planning for medical facilities Lewis ; U.

Department of Health … Another set of notions about health centers on the accumulation of resistance to potential danger. This may be termed the elastic concept. Examples of health behavior derived from this manner of thinking include restricting the water intake of children to make them hardy, homeopathic medicine, and variolation of differing empirical value, of course. Adversity is not regarded here as a disruption of some prior or ultimate harmony but rather as an ordinary and expected circumstance for which preparations can and should be made.

This manner of regarding health seems to play a substantial part in modern preventive medicine. Another good contemporary example of an application of the elastic view of health is psychoprophylactic training for childbirth, by which women are taught to cope with the hardships of delivery through psychological conditioning together with certain exercises Bing et al.

The outstanding difficulty with the asymptotic notion of health which is circumvented by elastic conceptions is its unattainability. By turning the argument around, one can start with death as a kind of absolute zero and fix no upper limit for human functioning Bates , p. This may be termed the open-ended conception of health. In terms of actual health behavior in urban societies, open-ended conceptions are more likey to be put into practice in national parks, beauty parlors, bathrooms, or athletic studios than in the offices of doctors or psychologists.

In non-Western societies one may find practices aimed at increasing supernatural power, physical strength, prosperity, wisdom, virility, or femininity, which are conceptually and behaviorally integrated with actions to prevent or cure disease. In indus trialized societies, however, increased specialization results in the separation of medical institutions from the religious, esthetic, recreational, and economic spheres. As mentioned above, the focus of Western medicine narrowed as the doctrine of specific etiology of disease became the dominant view.

The attempt of the mental hygienists to develop a new and positive content for the concept of health is further limited by concern for the possibility of their encroachment on other institutions. Brewster Smith , p. In spite of these problems, it may be predicted that scientific medicine will gradually adopt a more open-ended conception of health as the technological tasks of health maintenance in a population with increasing proportions of older people are accomplished and as the relationship between people and their environment once again becomes the central arena of medical concern.

The WHO definition does not specify whether its terms apply only to the health of the individual. In the Greek medical system of the fifth century B. This type of conception is carried even further in the ideas of many non-Western peoples. Public health is thus not only the name of a medical specialty but also refers to the well-being of various publics Brockington , pp.


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The health of other entities, such as families, so cieties, the human species, or the entire ecosphere of this planet, has also been discussed. Mental illness is re garded by a number of psychologists and psychiatrists as a pathological state of an entire family. Western medical practitioners almost inevitably put a higher value on prolonging individual life than on the health of the social unit—witness the grotesque situation where catheters, sedatives, exorbitant hospital bills, and oxygen tents prevent a dying man from making a decent and meaningful departure from his relatives.

Under different cultural circumstances the reverse evaluation may predominate, as among the Navajo Indians of the southwestern United States , who are more concerned with the well-being of the entire kin group than with the maximum comfort of, say, a congenitally malformed infant Levy Unless a species is approaching death through extinction, however, it may be impossible to diagnose its current degree of fitness. The possibility of using modern medicine to keep alive individuals with genetically inherited diseases and the higher reproductive rate of the impoverished classes have been a focus for alarm by some eugenicists.

Bates, Marston The Ecology of Health. Pages in Iago Galdston editor , Medicine and Anthropology. New York : International Universities Press. A primary source. Bing, Elizabeth D. Brockington, C. Fraser World Health. Harmondsworth England : Penguin. An excellent basic volume.

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American Journal of Public Health 54, no. Washington: The Society. A unique and illuminating essay. Dubos, Renej. New York: Harper. New York: International Universities Press. Gennep, Arnold van The Rites of Pas sage. London: Routledge; Univ. A classic anthropological essay on birth, puberty, marriage, childbirth, and death. Gordon, John E.

American Journal of the Medical Sciences — Gruenberg, Ernest M. Pages in Explorations in Social Psychiatry. Edited by A. Leighton et al. New York: Basic Books. Haller, Mark H. New Brunswick , N. Huard, Pierre A. Paris: Dacosta. King, Stanley H. Pages in Handbook of Medical Sociology. Edited by H. Freeman et al. Englewood Cliffs, N. Levy, Jerrold E. Current Anthropology — Lewis, Aubrey Health as a Social Concept.

Brit ish Journal of Sociology — Medawar, Peter B. Mering, Otto Von; and Earley, L. Archives of General Psychiatry — Newell, Kenneth W. Health Education Jour nal — Nurge, Ethel Etiology of Illness in Guinhangdan. American Anthropologist New Series — Paul, Benjamin D.

Proceedings, No. New York: The Fund. Pflanz, Manfred Der unklare Fall. Miinchener medizinische Wochenschrift — Polgar, Steven Evolution and the Thermody-namic Imperative. Human Biology — New York: Philo sophical Library. New York: Md Publications.. Shiloh, A. Health Education Journal — Sigerist, Henry A History of Medicine.

New York: Oxford Univ. A lucid, scholarly, and thorough history. Smith, M. American Psychologist — Steiger, W.


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  5. Journal of Health and Human Behavior — Washington: Government printing office. Edited by Margaret Mead. New York: New American Library. Geneva: The Organization. The relationships among food, health, and disease are myriad and complex. We consume food every day, and it provides the resources we need to carry out life-sustaining functions.

    Hence it comes as no surprise that one's diet can affect profoundly one's daily and long-term physiological health and wellbeing. Qualities of a diet and the foods that comprise it have the potential to make one sick, but they also can act to reduce one's risk of acute or chronic diseases. All of the formal medical traditions of the world recognize a close connection between diet and an individual's health.

    One theme common to Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, and South and East Asian traditional medical systems is the ascription of humoral qualities to foods for example, foods that are "heating" or "cooling" to the body. In these traditional systems, an individual's diet is manipulated to include or exclude foods with specific properties in order to correct putative humoral imbalances or disease states. In contemporary biomedicine, the link between food and disease most often is articulated with regard to the compositional qualities of foods and the ways that diets high or low in specific foods and hence nutrients and other plant constituents have harmful or beneficial effects on the body.

    There are numerous ways in which diets comprised of specific foods containing or lacking a given nutrient contribute to health or disease. On the other hand, a diet high in animal products but low in fruits and vegetables may contribute to specific vitamin deficiencies. Scurvy a disease caused by vitamin C deficiency was recognized first among sailors on long-distance sea voyages, as they had no source of fresh fruits or vegetables.

    An unprocessed corn-based diet is known to result in the disease pellagra, caused by a deficiency of niacin, one of the B vitamins. Up through the early twentieth century, there was a well-defined "pellagra belt" through the southern United States , where corn was consumed widely. A diet comprised of diverse foods generally is considered to be the best way to prevent nutrient-deficiency diseases.

    Early humans lived by hunting and gathering, and they ate a broad array of plant and animal foods, although this varied by season and geography. Modern hunter-gatherers of the Kalahari Desert in southern Africa are known to exploit more than eighty species of plant foods, and no specific nutrient deficiencies have been reported among these groups. However, with the transition to agriculture, which happened in many parts of the world around 10, years ago, dietary diversity declined notably as populations began to cultivate a narrow array of staple crops such as wheat, rice, potatoes, and millet.

    Iron deficiencies and severe growth deficits due to undernutrition become apparent in the skeletons of early farmers. Some of these nutritional problems were resolved as populations evolved different means of processing staple foods that enhanced dietary nutrient profiles. Indeed, in the postagricultural period, food-processing techniques became crucial for reducing the negative health impacts of reliance on a few foods.

    Native populations of the Americas that had a long tradition of reliance on maize corn prepared it in such a way as to avoid the problem of niacin deficiency. Corn was boiled in a solution containing lime calcium carbonate , ash, etc. When corn was introduced to Europe during the Columbian period, the lack of a tradition for its processing led to outbreaks of pellagra. A similar example is the leavening of wheat to make bread, or fermentation to make beer. Both of these processes increase the bioavailability of the minerals calcium, iron, and zinc.

    When soybeans are processed into bean curd, as is common in East Asia, they lose their protease inhibitors, which interfere with protein digestion. On the other hand, it is also the case that some food-processing techniques — such as heating, boiling, or drying — can destroy vitamins in foods.

    Vitamin C degrades in the presence of heat and aridity; folic acid and thiamine likewise are sensitive to heat. Some of the other B vitamins break down in the presence of alkaline or acidic conditions. Others, such as vitamins B 6 and B 12 , are quite stable under most cooking conditions. Milling and polishing rice into smooth white grains, which are valued highly in East Asian cuisine, reduce the protein and thiamine content of rice, and contribute to the risk of the disease beriberi thiamine deficiency.

    Industrial processing of foods often reduces their nutrient profile, but many foods, especially those that are consumed widely such as cereals, are enriched to replace lost nutrients. In addition, grilling or broiling meats until they are well-charred has been associated with the production of the chemical compound Benzo a pyrene, which has been linked to gastrointestinal cancers. When diets are derived largely from plant foods, particular combinations of food are known to improve the overall dietary quality, particularly with respect to the balance of essential amino acids.

    Corn, for example, is low in the amino acids lysine and tryptophan, but in native American cuisine, corn is often combined with legumes that are rich in those amino acids. Likewise, the combination of rice and legumes can provide the full array of essential amino acids. A peanut butter sandwich, a staple in the diet of many American children, contains complementary amino acids from the wheat and peanuts. However, it is not only the nutrient composition of foods that is relevant to disease.

    Other qualities of foods — especially plant foods — recently have been found to contain other chemicals that reduce the risk of certain diseases. Some potentially important phytochemicals include polyphenols in red wine and green tea and carotenoids in orange, yellow, and green vegetables. Many of these have been found to have antioxidant effects and may prevent cell damage from oxygen- free radicals. Widespread consumption of red wine has been credited by some with the "French Paradox," the observation that, although the French tend to eat foods high in fat, their consumption of red wine may offset some of the risk of cardiovascular disease usually associated with such diets.

    Phytoestrogens, a form of isoflavones found in legumes such as soybeans, may reduce the risk of many cancers, especially breast cancer, by binding to estrogen receptors, and these also may reduce bone loss associated with osteoporosis. Proteins in soybeans also may reduce cholesterol levels and thus reduce the risk of heart disease.

    The organosulfur constituents of garlic may inhibit platelet aggregation and reduce blood lipids, thereby reducing the risk of coronary heart disease. Tannins found in tea, coffee, cocoa, red wine, and some legumes and grains and phytates are hypoglycemic, and may contribute to reduced risk of diabetes. Other plant compounds have links to infectious disease, such as the protozoan disease malaria, which is a common disease and often life-threatening in tropical and semitropical areas.

    Manioc Manihot esculenta ; also called cassava or yuca , a widely cultivated root crop in the tropics, contains cyanogens, which appear to inhibit the growth of the malaria parasite in red blood cells.

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    Likewise, fava beans contain vicine, a potent oxidant that disrupts malarial reproduction in red blood cells. However, individuals who are deficient in the enzyme G-6PD a deficiency most common in Mediterranean populations are susceptible to the potentially fatal anemia, favism, because their red blood cells are extremely vulnerable to destruction by potent oxidants such as vicine.

    Many secondary compounds in plants do not have such salutary effects, or their benefits are tempered by potential negative effects on health. The cyanogens in manioc, lima beans, and other foods can interfere with thyroid function, glucose metabolism, growth and development, and other important physiological functions. Cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage contain thiocyanate compounds that act as goitrogens, and thereby contribute to thyroid disease.

    Tannins, which are distributed widely among plant foods, inhibit protein digestion and interfere with iron absorption. The ingestion of solanine, a glycoalkaloid found in commercial strains of potatoes that have been exposed to light, or in many wild varieties, can lead to serious gastrointestinal and neurological symptoms. Interestingly, traditional modes of consuming potatoes among Andean populations appear to reduce the risk of solanine exposure; their potatoes are consumed often with a clay-based slurry, which effectively detoxifies them. There are cases in which the health effects associated with the consumption of particular foods vary in significant ways among diverse populations.

    For example, the ability to produce the enzyme lactase which breaks down the milk sugar lactose in adulthood is rare among human populations. This ability persists in highest frequencies through adulthood among northern Europeans and pastoral populations in Africa and other areas. Fresh milk consumption played an important role in maintaining health in the history of these populations, and they evolved lactase persistence as a dietary adaptation. When adults with low levels of small-intestinal lactase activity consume fresh milk the food highest in lactose , they often experience cramps, bloating, diarrhea, and other forms of gastrointestinal distress.

    This is less of a problem when milk is consumed after processing into yogurt or cheese, as lactose is either fermented or removed during their production. In populations that only recently have begun relying on wheat production there is a high frequency of celiac disease, an allergic response to wheat protein gluten.

    There is some suggestion that African Americans may be more sensitive to salt than are other sectors of the population, and that, consequently, salt consumption by African Americans increases blood pressure and contributes to an incidence of hypertension greater than in other groups. In the most general sense, both underconsumption and overconsumption of foods can lead to chronic disease. Not surprisingly, these two ends of the consumption spectrum tend to occur in poor and wealthy populations, respectively.

    It is estimated that more than 1. A similar number suffer from problems related to the overconsumption of calories. Both are associated with deficiencies of micronutrients. It has been suggested that more than half of the world's disease burden derives from nutrition-related sources. Overconsumption of calorie-rich foods became the norm in wealthy countries during the late twentieth century. Such foods became mass produced, more readily available, and relatively inexpensive. Today supermarket shelves are lined with potato chips, candy, cookies, crackers, soda, and all kinds of other calorie-dense foods.

    Fast-food restaurants specialize in ever-larger servings of high-calorie foods that are quickly prepared and consumed. Most of these are highly processed, and although they are rich in calories, they are often low in vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals. It is widely accepted that, when combined with a sedentary lifestyle, diets high in such foods contribute to a broad array of chronic health conditions, most significantly cardiovascular disease CVD , diabetes, cancer, and hypertension.

    It is now estimated that more than half of Americans are overweight, and almost one-quarter are obese, which is itself a risk factor for these diseases. In addition, an increasing number of children are now obese, and "adult-onset" Type 2 diabetes is appearing with alarming frequency in adolescents. More than 75 percent of all mortality in the United States is due to CVD and cancer, but death rates from stroke and heart attacks have declined since the s.

    This has been attributed, in part, to reduced consumption of saturated fat from red meat, whole milk, butter, and lard. There are several studies indicating that a low-fat diet based largely on vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, with relatively small amounts of animal protein especially from fish is associated with increased longevity and reduced risk of chronic disease.

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    Problems related to the overconsumption of high-calorie foods are not unique to the industrialized world. As countries are integrated into the global economy and populations increasingly become urbanized, there has been a global shift in dietary patterns and health conditions that appear to accompany those new consumption habits. Interestingly, such changes are remarkably consistent across countries, and may reflect a panhuman preference for foods rich in calories, which historically have been quite limited in the diet.

    Generally the consumption of fats and sweets has increased, and the use of traditional whole-grain foods and traditional modes of processing has declined. Fast-food outlets such as Kentucky Fried Chicken and McDonalds have become ubiquitous in urban centers throughout the world. Active lifestyles are being replaced with sedentism, as people move away from subsistence agriculture into clerical and factory jobs.

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    As a result, the chronic diseases that heretofore had predominated in wealthy industrialized countries are becoming globalized. For example, the global diabetes rates seen in are expected to double by , with the majority of that growth occurring in developing countries. On the other hand, undernutrition, also referred to as protein-energy malnutrition PEM , often occurs under conditions of food scarcity and is associated with a wide range of negative health effects.

    More than 10 percent of the world's population suffers from chronic hunger, and undernutrition may be responsible for as many as twenty million deaths per year. It is important to realize that hunger is not the result of too little food being produced for too many people in the world; it is essentially a problem with the way that food is distributed unevenly among the world's populations. Children are especially vulnerable to PEM, as they have higher protein and energy needs per unit of body weight than do adults.

    When calories and protein are chronically scarce in childhood, permanent stunting and retarded development occur. In its acute form, PEM results in wasting dramatically reduced weight relative to height and it is potentially fatal. More routinely, PEM increases vulnerability to infectious disease, since energy, protein, and certain vitamins and minerals play crucial roles in immune function. In environmental contexts in which infectious disease especially diarrheal disease is common, the combination of PEM and infection can provoke a rapid deterioration of health that can lead to death.

    A common stage for this progression to manifest itself is weaning, the period when children make the transition away from breast milk which contains nutrients and disease-suppressing maternal immunoglobulins to an adult-type diet.

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    It is not uncommon for children to become more vulnerable to infection when they are weaned prematurely and are unable to consume sufficient nutrientdense foods to maintain growth. In the s, baby bottles were developed and cow's milk was developed into infant formula as an alternative to breast milk. The practice of formula-feeding peaked in the United States in the years following World War II ; breast-feeding is now on the rise again in most parts of the world, although it remains uncommon past the early months in most industrialized countries. Most research amply demonstrates the health benefits of breastfeeding: substitution of formula for breast milk is associated with increased risks of numerous health problems including SIDS sudden infant death syndrome , ear infections, diabetes, breast cancer, and allergies.

    Controversy erupted in the early s over the promotion of formula by multinational corporations in the developing world. Formula was marketed heavily and inappropriately, and health personnel began to encourage mothers to feed their children formula rather than nurse them. Formula, which was costly, often was prepared in dilute form with contaminated water. Its use in this way increased infant morbidity and mortality and generated much attention among the media and international health organizations, ultimately resulting in a ban on formula promotion by multinational corporations.

    As the links between diet and disease have become more widely known, there has been a trend toward more healthful eating habits in industrialized societies. However, this trend is not uniform within such populations. Numerous studies have shown that obesity, the eating habits that contribute to it, and the diseases associated with it, especially diabetes, have increased among lower socioeconomic groups. The reasons behind this trend are complex, but as noted above, foods high in starches, fats, and sugars are now cheap and readily available.

    Those high in protein meat, dairy products and fresh fruits and vegetables are relatively less accessible and more expensive, and are consumed less commonly by the poor. Moreover, in the United States, fast-food outlets are locating preferentially in areas serving poorer communities. This has led to the curious, yet commonplace, phenomenon in wealthy countries whereby weight is correlated inversely with wealth. Historically, of course, the reverse would have been the case, as is still evident in many developing countries. Cohen, Mark Nathan. Health and the Rise of Civilization. New Haven , Conn.

    Diamond, Jared. Gardner, Gary, and Brian Halweil. Worldwatch Paper Washington, D. Jackson, Fatimah Linda Collier. Johns, Timothy. Katz, Solomon H. New York : Alan R. Liss, World Hunger: Twelve Myths. New York : Grove Press, Lee, Richard B. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies. Dispatched from the UK in 3 business days When will my order arrive? Home Contact us Help Free delivery worldwide. Free delivery worldwide. Bestselling Series. Harry Potter.