Mar 1, 2001

Relationship between subsistence and age at weaning in "preindustrial" societies

Human Nature : an Interdisciplinary Biosocial Perspective
D W Sellen, D B Smay

Abstract

Cross-cultural studies have revealed broad quantitative associations between subsistence practice and demographic parameters for preindustrial populations. One explanation is that variationin the availability of suitable weaning foods influenced the frequency and duration of breastfeeding and thus the length of interbirth intervals and the probability of child survival (the "weaning food availability" hypothesis). We examine the available data on weaning age variation in preindustrial populations and report results of a cross-cultural test of the predictions that weaning occurred earlier in agricultural and pastoral populations because dairy and cereal production increased the availability of easily digestible, nutrientrich foods appropriate for weaning. We found that, contrary to predictions, supplementation with liquid foods other than breast milk was delayed in agricultural populations relative to less agriculturally dependent ones and complementary feeding with solid foods was delayed in pastoral populations relative to those less dependent on herding. Although the duration of breastfeeding was longer in populations dependent on hunting, there was no qualitative evidence that such populations lacked foods appropriate for we...Continue Reading

  • References44
  • Citations43

References

Mentioned in this Paper

Liquidized Food
Patterns
Exertion
Diet
Food
Breast Feeding
Milk, Human
Cereals
Diagnostic Procedure
Solid Food

Trending Feeds

COVID-19

Coronaviruses encompass a large family of viruses that cause the common cold as well as more serious diseases, such as the ongoing outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19; formally known as 2019-nCoV). Coronaviruses can spread from animals to humans; symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath, and breathing difficulties; in more severe cases, infection can lead to death. This feed covers recent research on COVID-19.

Synthetic Genetic Array Analysis

Synthetic genetic arrays allow the systematic examination of genetic interactions. Here is the latest research focusing on synthetic genetic arrays and their analyses.

Position Effect Variegation

Position Effect Variagation occurs when a gene is inactivated due to its positioning near heterochromatic regions within a chromosome. Discover the latest research on Position Effect Variagation here.

Head And Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Squamous cell carcinomas account for >90% of all tumors in the head and neck region. Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma incidence has increased dramatically recently with little improvement in patient outcomes. Here is the latest research on this aggressive malignancy.

Signaling in Adult Neurogenesis

Neural stem cells play a critical role in the production of neuronal cells in neurogenesis is of great importance. Of interest is the role signalling mechanisms in adult neurogenesis. Discover the latest research on signalling in adult neurogenesis.

Psychiatric Chronotherapy

Psychiatric Chronotherapy considers the circadian rhythm as a major factor for optimizing therapeutic efficacy of psychiatric interventions. Discover the latest research on Psychiatric Chronotherapy here.

Epigenetic Memory

Epigenetic memory refers to the heritable genetic changes that are not explained by the DNA sequence. Find the latest research on epigenetic memory here.

Bone Marrow Neoplasms

Bone Marrow Neoplasms are cancers that occur in the bone marrow. Discover the latest research on Bone Marrow Neoplasms here.