Human Ecology

, Volume 19, Issue 3, pp 351–368 | Cite as

Age and sex differences in the impact of seasonal energy stress among Andean agriculturalists

  • William R. Leonard


It has been widely argued that children and females are most severely affected during periods of food scarcity. This proposition is tested using dietary and anthropometric data from the Andean community of Nuñoa, Peru. Contrary to expectation, children (ages 12 years and under) are relatively protected from seasonal food scarcity while adults experience severe caloric stress. Anthropometric measures of nutritional status corroborate the dietary analysis, indicating significantly better nutritional status in children. Sex differences in dietary adequacy are not evident. Adult males, however, have significantly poorer measures of nutritional status than adult females. These differences in dietary adequacy and nutritional status reflect adaptations to marked seasonality in work demands and energy availability.

Key words

energetics seasonality nutritional status adaptation Peru 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • William R. Leonard
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Human BiologyUniversity of GuelphGuelphCanada

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