greater access to nutrition leads to increase body mass. This is made worse by communities
which have adapted genetically to low calorific diets suddenly (in evolutionary terms)
having unlimited access to calorie-dense diets. Other profit driven products (including
processed, “value-added” - read more expensive- foods; tobacco and alcohol) are
marketed aggressively, and environmental degradation from unrestrained population pressure
on limited resources are contributing to rising disease prevalence. Economic growth,
driving increased competitiveness, greater pressure on the workforce, less control over
work, chronic unemployment and more work insecurity contribute to significant adaptive
demand on people, leading to more extreme forms of “relaxation” such as substance
abuse, and breakdown of traditional support systems such as the family and community.
The nutritional environment prevailing in the
uterine environment during gestation seems to “set” the body’s metabolic tone.
Variation throughout the life-span from this nutritional standard is associated with
greater risk of a range of chronic diseases, including CHD, diabetes and other
currently-important chronic diseases. This is called “Barker’s Hypothesis”. So
mothers who had lower, but adequate, nourishment during their pregnancies, give birth to
low weight babies. Such babies are subjected to a richer nutritional environment as they
grow, have increased weight gain and higher BMI as children and as adults, are at greater
risk of many diseases, than either low birth weight babies that retain low BMI throughout
life, or high b.w. babies that retain high b.w.