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Lecture 6

ANT208 Lecture 6

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Dan Sellen

Lecture 5 – Nutrition Lecture Outline: - Differences between male and female life histories o Adaptations/scheduling in usage of nutrients – maximizes the transmission of genes to future generations o Males and females use nutrients differently – different nutrient scheduling - Alternative allocation of energy and nutrients o There are metabolic adaptations - we’re interested in how this works for humans - Additional variation in response to environmental cues - Linking nutrition to growth and maturation - Developmental origins of adult disease; programming o Flux of nutrients you’re exposed to during the developmental period is a powerful determinant to how your nutrient scheduling works in the future à called programming - Transgenerational effects o Specifically through female lineage o Nutritional exposures of girl children influences things like metabolic programming of their offspring and birth weight à which ultimately affects future generations - Special significance of girl child and women’s nutrition - Significance of secular trends in life history patterns The processes of maturation and developing gender identity Puberty VS adolescence - Onset of reproductive function - Period between appearance of 2ndary sexual characteristics and completion of skeletal growth - Cultural markers (i.e., skeletal growth) for attainment of adulthood may or may not be linked to a biological marker o i.e., things that may indicate adulthood: when you can buy alcohol, when you have a baby, etc.. à all things linked to culture Know these terms: - morphology at puberty - perceived competence The following factors allow an individual to develop “self concept” Growth: size, physique, composition, systemic Maturation: the process in changing skeletal, muscular (and other bodily) capacities (skeletal, sexual, somatic, neuromuscular) Development: emotional changes, motor skills, cognitive & social areas Which then leads to “perceived competence” Alternate allocation strategy Female Puberty Sexual Maturity Menopause First birth Male Puberty Sexual Maturity First Birth *Notice how the male line is shorter than the female line à females tend to live longer than males * Also, if you match up the lines, these events occur at different times a female VS male’s life à i.e., puberty, sexual maturity and first birth occurs earlier in females than males * Evolution à scheduling of events: evolution has selected these times because this is when females and males reproduce the best Variation in mortality *a map showing difference in life expectancy at birth Results: - Life expectancy – lowest = 35-40 years in Central Africa o Poor governments, poor income, poor quality health care, warfare, citizens highly susceptible to infectious diseases - North America – the highest life expectancy ever seen (83+) - Survival variation: sex + environment - Male mortality is always higher (across all countries) o Due to males being more involved in cultural characteristics (i.e., drunk driving – why insurance is higher for males) o Biological vulnerability o Males have evolved to trade off the risk of disease – somehow this is related to fitness (TRADEOFFS) - “Females are a little more resilient to life” - In every country there’s a difference between male and females Hypothetical female life histories maximizing reproductive success: In good conditions: - Early maturity - High pregnancy success & high lactation success - High offspring survival - Long life In bad conditions: - Delayed maturity - Pregnancy failures - Ill-fed offspring = low survival - Early death - Evolutionary argument: try to reproduce early à you will be small à may be in increase risk to your future offspring (i.e., mental retardation) à early death of mother o So the best strategy – delayed maturity Conclusions: - Female RS (reproductive success) has an upper limit o Can produce a limited number of healthy offspring o Better to invest lots into small # of offspring VS invest little into large # of unhealthy offspring - Main factor affecting RS is access to resources (i.e., food, shelter, shade, etc) Hypothetical male life histories maximizing reproductive success: Few mates: produces fewer offspring for male - more effort into mating effort than caring for the offspring Many Mates - males become recruited into the care network and provide care to single mates - This may increase the RS of females à so their offspring are more likely to survive Providing care to single mate(s): - Care can make a big difference in this strategy Conclusions: - Male RS is potentially unlimited - Main limiting factor is access to mates Strategy for allocating nutrients: ecology and sex - Need to lay down reserves (i.e., fat) - Fat metabolism – one of the things that came with having fur and lactation - As you become an adult, a chunk of your nutrients need to be put into maintenance (metabolism, cell repair, etc) - People who are highly active burn a lot of energy – many need supplementary nutrients (i.e., AA supplements) - The architecture in F and M development is different o Males invest more in structural growth o Advantage to being bigger o Females fuel fetal/infant growth o Males find it easier to build muscle o Females find it easier to build fats  Female needs may be quite high  Females Can be active = lots of maintenance  Do lots of reproductive prep 4 nutrients which in today’s world at the top 4 problems: There are people who don’t have access to these nutrients 1. Vitamin A 2. Iron 3. Zinc/Iodine 4. Calcium/vitamin C&D This is an evolved vulnerability Adipose tissue: underestimated? The following factors shift around in development + are intimately tied up in life histories - Role of fat in mammals - Energy storage - Glucose o Fat storages & energy mobilized glucose in the blood – key links in scheduling different body proportions, disease cues and sexual development - Insulin o Key hormone that regulates shifts between stored carbohydrates in the blood o Modern environments may be triggered insulin response in ways that humans may not yet have had the chance to a
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