What are the health consequences of a transition from an active `hunter-gatherer' lifestyle to that of sedentary modern living? In this book, the impact of `modernisation' is assessed in various populations in the circumpolar regions.
The hazards of living in polar regions, and the adaptations shown culturally, behaviourally and physically by the indigenous peoples are examined and the effect of changes in habitual activity, diet, and general lifestyle due to more urban living patterns on the body composition, pulmonary function and susceptibility to disease discussed. The implications of this switch are important not only for all those concerned about the survival of indigenous communities around the world, but for all of us living in an increasingly sedentary, urban environment. Anthropologists, physiologists and those interested in population fitness will find this a comprehensive and valuable volume.
Paperback re-issue, originally published in 1996.
Preface; 1. The circumpolar habitat and its peoples - traditional lifestyle and early research findings; 2. Concept of the International Biological Programme Human Adaptability Project and IBP studies of circumpolar peoples; 3. Changes in social structure and behaviour; 4. Secular trends in diet, metabolism and body composition; 5. Secular trends in physical fitness and cold tolerance; 6. Secular trends in lung function and respiratory disease; 7. Secular trends in growth and development; 8. Current health status; 9. Lessons from the Arctic; Bibliography; Index.
The book is clearly written and well referenced, with numerous tables and charts used to display the biological data. Of interest to historians of science as well as human biologists and anthropologists. Choice "...the authors have a fine and subtle feel for the arctic. Their constant flashes of cultural insight do a lot to enligten the dense biological data. I am asking my own graduate students to use this book as one model of how to conceptualize anthropologically informed human biology." A. Theodore Steegmann Jr., American Anthropologist "The book's strength in physiological topics reflects the authors' background and experience. Moreover, there is much in this book that is useful for any health care practitioner and researcher with an interest in the North. It is a convenient, single-source introduction to the Inuit and their health status, with a comprehensive bibliography." Transcultural Psychiatry