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The western diet and lifestyle and diseases of civilization

Authors Pedro Carrera-Bastos, Maelan Fontes-Villalba, James H O’Keefe, et al

Published Date March 2011 Volume 2011:2 Pages 15—35

DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/RRCC.S16919

Published 9 March 2011

Pedro Carrera-Bastos1, Maelan Fontes-Villalba1, James H O’Keefe2, Staffan Lindeberg1, Loren Cordain3
1Center for Primary Health Care Research, Faculty of Medicine at Lund University, Malmö, Sweden; 2Mid America Heart and Vascular Institute/University of Missouri-Kansas City, Kansas City, Missouri, USA; 3Department of Health and Exercise Science, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado, USA

Abstract: It is increasingly recognized that certain fundamental changes in diet and lifestyle that occurred after the Neolithic Revolution, and especially after the Industrial Revolution and the Modern Age, are too recent, on an evolutionary time scale, for the human genome to have completely adapted. This mismatch between our ancient physiology and the western diet and lifestyle underlies many so-called diseases of civilization, including coronary heart disease, obesity, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, epithelial cell cancers, autoimmune disease, and osteoporosis, which are rare or virtually absent in hunter–gatherers and other non-westernized populations. It is therefore proposed that the adoption of diet and lifestyle that mimic the beneficial characteristics of the preagricultural environment is an effective strategy to reduce the risk of chronic degenerative diseases.

Keywords: Paleolithic, hunter–gatherers, Agricultural Revolution, modern diet, western lifestyle and diseases

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