This seminar considers evolutionary factors underlying how variations in diet and exercise affect the human body. Why do we tend to crave foods rich in fat and sugar? How unhealthful are saturated fats? Why has the prevalence of food allergies skyrocketed? Why are we so susceptible to sports injuries? Is exercise really medicine?
Weekly readings and discussion will be used to explore how ancestral diets and forms of physical activity have shaped human anatomy and physiology, and how differences between past and present diets and forms of exercise may contribute to illness, mortality, and variations in reproductive success. In doing so, we challenge popular conceptions of what it means to be “healthy.”