[ExI] ScienceNews on diet again

BillK pharos at gmail.com
Mon Jun 20 08:03:38 UTC 2011

On Mon, Jun 20, 2011 at 1:39 AM, MB wrote:
> When populations around the globe started turning to agriculture around 10,000 years
> ago, regardless of their locations and type of crops, a similar trend occurred: The
> height and health of the people declined.
> (snip)

But they were alive - that's better than not living at all isn't it?
Agriculture brought huge increases in population and the move to
living in cities.
Ban agriculture and you kill off 95% of the world population.
(And kill off 95% of the R&D that they would have created).

The article has caveats though, that it wasn't just the diet change
that caused worsening health.

She adds that growth in population density spurred by agriculture
settlements led to an increase in infectious diseases, likely
exacerbated by problems of sanitation and the proximity to
domesticated animals and other novel disease vectors.
Eventually, the trend toward shorter stature reversed, and average
heights for most populations began increasing. The trend is especially
notable in the developed world during the past 75 years, following the
industrialization of food systems.

So when humans discovered sanitation and antibiotics, health started
improving again.


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