Advertisement

Human Nature

, 22:370 | Cite as

Review of Nancy Howell’s Life Histories of the Dobe !Kung: Food, Fatness, and Well-Being over the Life-Span (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2010)

  • Jonathan C. K. WellsEmail author
Article
  • 147 Downloads

This well-written book describes reanalyses of existing anthropometric and behavioral data on the !Kung of northern Botswana, the same data that previously underpinned Howell’s (1979) classic and much admired volume, The Demography of the Dobe !Kung (New York: Academic Press). Since that book was published, increasing interest has been directed to analyzing the life history profiles of various foraging populations. Howell has used this publication both to contribute to this active area of research and to make her raw data more widely available to potential users, especially to students. On both counts, this very generous book is an elegant guide that shows how seemingly simple anthropometric and dietary data can be used to tease out answers to fundamental questions in human ecology and life history.

Howell’s particular interest is in understanding how the nutritional status of the Dobe !Kung population correlates with energy capture from the environment and, in particular, who funds...

Keywords

Nancy Howell Demography Dobe !Kung 

References

  1. Cole, T. J., Freeman, J. V., & Preece, M. A. (1995). Body mass index reference curves for the UK, 1990. Archives of Disease in Childhood, 73(1), 25–29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Fogel, R. W. (2004). The escape from hunger and premature death, 1700–2100. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Gabrielsson, B. G., Johansson, J. M., Lonn, M., Jernas, M., Olbers, T., Peltonen, M., et al. (2003). High expression of complement components in omental adipose tissue in obese men. Obesity Research, 11(6), 699–708.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Howell, N. (1979). The demography of the Dobe !Kung. New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  5. Pfeiffer, S., & Sealy, J. (2006). Body size among Holocene foragers of the Cape Ecozone, southern Africa. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 129(1), 1–11.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Rebuffe-Scrive, M., Enk, L., Crona, N., Lonnroth, P., Abrahamsson, L., Smith, U., et al. (1985). Fat cell metabolism in different regions in women: effect of menstrual cycle, pregnancy, and lactation. Journal of Clinical Investigation, 75(6), 1973–1976.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Wells, J. C. K. (2009). The evolutionary biology of human body fat: thrift and control. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Wells, J. C., Chomtho, S., & Fewtrell, M. S. (2007). Programming of body composition by early growth and nutrition. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, 66(3), 423–434.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Childhood Nutrition Research CentreUCL Institute of Child HealthLondonUK

Personalised recommendations