The Health Consequences of 'Modernisation': Evidence from Circumpolar Peoples

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What are the health consequences of a transition from an active 'hunter-gatherer' lifestyle to that of sedentary modern living? In this book, the impact of 'modernization' is assessed in various populations in the circumpolar regions. The hazards of living in polar regions, and the adaptations shown culturally, behaviourally and physically by the indigenous peoples are examined and the effect of changes in habitual activity, diet, and general lifestyle due to more urban living patterns on the body composition, pulmonary function and susceptibility to disease is discussed. The implications of this switch are important not only for all those concerned about the survival of indigenous communities around the world, but for all of us living increasingly sedentary, urban lives. Anthropologists, physiologists and those interested in population fitness will find this a comprehensive and valuable volume.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The book is clearly written and well referenced, with numerous tables and charts used to display the biological data. Of interest to historians of science as well as human biologists and anthropologists." Choice

"...the authors have a fine and subtle feel for the arctic. Their constant flashes of cultural insight do a lot to enligten the dense biological data. I am asking my own graduate students to use this book as one model of how to conceptualize anthropologically informed human biology." A. Theodore Steegmann Jr., American Anthropologist

"The book's strength in physiological topics reflects the authors' background and experience. Moreover, there is much in this book that is useful for any health care practitioner and researcher with an interest in the North. It is a convenient, single-source introduction to the Inuit and their health status, with a comprehensive bibliography." Transcultural Psychiatry

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Product Details

Table of Contents

1 The circumpolar habitat and its peoples: traditional lifestyle and early research findings 1
2 Concepts of the International Biological Programme Human Adaptability Project, and IBP studies of circumpolar populations 43
3 Changes in social structure and behaviour 58
4 Secular trends in diet, metabolism and body composition 87
5 Secular trends in physical fitness and cold tolerance 123
6 Secular trends in respiratory hazards, lung function and respiratory disease 151
7 Secular trends in growth and development 186
8 Current health status of circumpolar populations 225
9 Postscript: lessons from traditional circumpolar life and options for the future 251
References 264
Index 302
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