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ECOLOGY OF DISEASE - 3 populations often face trade-offs...

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ECOLOGY OF DISEASE & NUTRITION Introduction Disease and nutrition are always important aspects of ecological adaptation; indeed, these two elements may be the major determinants of population dynamics in many human populations Ecological perspective is not concerned with clinical and physiological details of disease and nutrition per se Rather, it focuses on the ways in which behavior and culture adjust to these adaptive problems, as well as the ways in which other aspects of human ecology affect disease and nutrition It's appropriate to consider disease and nutrition together, because they so often interact : 1) nutritional stress increased freq. and severity of disease 2) diseases often increased nutritional demands (e.g., protein to repair cell damage, or calories to feed parasite or fuel fever)
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Unformatted text preview: 3) populations often face trade-offs between increasing nutritional intake vs. avoiding pathogens Classic examples of the last point: the use of "night soil" (human feces) for fertilizer nnincreases agricultural productivity while elevating risk of disease transmission; crop irrigation can increase rates of water-borne diseases like schistosomiasis; interaction of sickle cell and agriculture in W. Africa (see below) Thus, examining nutrition and disease together can reveal some very interesting ecological interactions Case studies summarized here also illustrate interaction of genetic/physiological processes with behavioral/cultural ones Thus one can consider the ecology of disease and nutrition in relation to broader conceptual issues re human adaptive strategies...
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