The Changing Body: Health, Nutrition and Development in the Western World since 1700

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At the end of the eighteenth century, the average British man was around 168cm tall by the time he reached maturity. By the end of the twentieth century, the average height of mature British men was around 177cm, and similar changes have taken place throughout the developed world. This lecture explores the causes and consequences of these changes for human health, longevity and even productivity. It also explores the implications of the concept of ‘technophysio evolution’. This phrase was coined by Robert Fogel and Dora Costa to describe changes in human development over the last three hundred years. They argued that recent generations ‘have gained an unprecedented degree of control over their environment – a degree of control so great that it sets them apart from all previous generations of homo sapiens’. The lecture examines the extent to which this change lies at the heart of the physical changes which the lecture describes.


The first chapter of the book is available to download here as a 'transcript' for this lecture. This is done so with the permission of Cambridge University Press and the authors, Roderick Floud, Robert W. Fogel, Bernard Harris and Sok Chul Hong.
Full information about the book can be found on the CUP website here: The Changing Body: Health, Nutrition, and Human Development in the Western World since 1700
ISBN: 9780521705615

There is no transcript for this event

This event was on Thu, 30 Jun 2011


Professor Bernard Harris

Professor of the History of Social Policy at the University of Southampton, Bernard Harris main academic interests are in the history of social policy and social...

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Professor Sir Roderick Floud FBA

Professor Sir Roderick Floud FBA

Provost of Gresham College

Professor Sir Roderick Floud FBA is an Honorary Fellow of Gresham College having served as the Provost of Gresham College between 2008 and 2014, taking...

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