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Lecture 5

ANP 202 Lecture 5-3

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Department
Anthropology
Course
ANP 201
Professor
All Professors
Semester
Fall

Description
Lecture 5-3: Adaptation to Nutritional Stress *Humans adapt to diet (the kinds of foods we eat) and nutrition (the deriving of nutrients from those foods) *Each body function requires a certain amount of energy and particular nutrients, and a lack of energy or nutrients can hamper body functions *Humans have dietary plasticity -Omnivorous: eat a wide range of both plants & animals -This enhances our access to the nutrients we need for function and survival, and reflects humans’ unique combination of biology and culture Subsistence Strategies *Different ways to extract food resources from the environment *Must provide for basic nutritional needs -energy -protein -fat -minerals & vitamins *Inadequate intake of appropriate foods -> deficiency disease Hunter-Gatherers *Typically varied diet (a variety of foods) *Deficiency of specific nutrients uncommon *Common problem: seasonal shortages in energy intake Tropical Farmers *Practice slash-and-burn agriculture (swidden) *Crops tend to be high in bulk & low in protein -Taro, sweet potatoes, yams, etc. *Common problem: protein deficiency Peasant Farmers *Low technology subsistence agriculture *Typically heavy reliance on a single cereal crop -Rice (S & SE Asia) -Wheat (Asia & Europe) -Maize (New World) -Millet/Sorghum (Africa) *Common problem: micronutrient deficiency -E.g. Pellagra (niacin deficiency) = a diet high in maize consumption -Beriberi (VB1 deficiency) = a diet high in milled/washed rice Nutritional Adaptation: 3 Usages 1. The ability of the body to adapt to nutritional stress *by efficiently utilizing nutrients or by altering metabolic activity 2. Behavioral or cultural practices *availability of nutrients, e.g. processing maize with alkali *adjusting nutritional requirements, e.g. reducing activity 3. The usefulness of different nutrients buffering other stressors *e.g. cassava-cyanide- metabolites of cyanide buffer sickle cell & malaria Adaptation to Seasonal Nutritional Stress *Energy intake does not equal energy expenditure *Two forms of nutritional stress 1. Starvation 2. Chronic undernutrition *Protein-Energy Malnutrition (PEM) -general deficiency of major body nutrients, including protein, energy and specific micronutrients -the most important nutritional disease in developing countries PEM Severity *Mild PEM: reduced physical activity & growth rates *Moderate PEM: biochemical alterations e.g. serum protein levels & muscle wasting *Severe PEM: clinical signs e.g. dyspigmentation of hair, potbelly Deficiencies in Protein & Energy *Kwashiorkor: predominant protein deficiency -Symptoms: muscle atrophy, growth failur
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