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Tubers as fallback foods and their impact on Hadza hunter-gatherers.

Abstract

The Hadza are hunter-gatherers in Tanzania. Their diet can be conveniently categorized into five main categories: tubers, berries, meat, baobab, and honey. We showed the Hadza photos of these foods and asked them to rank them in order of preference. Honey was ranked the highest. Tubers, as expected from their low caloric value, were ranked lowest. Given that tubers are least preferred, we used kilograms of tubers arriving in camp across the year as a minimum estimate of their availability. Tubers fit the definition of fallback foods because they are the most continuously available but least preferred foods. Tubers are more often taken when berries are least available. We examined the impact of all foods by assessing variation in adult body mass index (BMI) and percent body fat (%BF) in relation to amount of foods arriving in camp. We found, controlling for region and season, women of reproductive age had a higher %BF in camps where more meat was acquired and a lower %BF where more tubers were taken. We discuss the implications of these results for the Hadza. We also discuss the importance of tubers in human evolution.

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  • Authors+Show Affiliations

    ,

    Department of Anthropology, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL 32306, USA. fmarlowe@fsu.edu

    Source

    MeSH

    Adult
    Age Factors
    Body Composition
    Body Mass Index
    Diet
    Ethnic Groups
    Female
    Food Preferences
    Humans
    Male
    Plant Tubers
    Seasons
    Sex Factors
    Statistics, Nonparametric
    Tanzania

    Pub Type(s)

    Journal Article
    Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

    Language

    eng

    PubMed ID

    19350623

    Citation

    Marlowe, Frank W., and Julia C. Berbesque. "Tubers as Fallback Foods and Their Impact On Hadza Hunter-gatherers." American Journal of Physical Anthropology, vol. 140, no. 4, 2009, pp. 751-8.
    Marlowe FW, Berbesque JC. Tubers as fallback foods and their impact on Hadza hunter-gatherers. Am J Phys Anthropol. 2009;140(4):751-8.
    Marlowe, F. W., & Berbesque, J. C. (2009). Tubers as fallback foods and their impact on Hadza hunter-gatherers. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 140(4), pp. 751-8. doi:10.1002/ajpa.21040.
    Marlowe FW, Berbesque JC. Tubers as Fallback Foods and Their Impact On Hadza Hunter-gatherers. Am J Phys Anthropol. 2009;140(4):751-8. PubMed PMID: 19350623.
    * Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
    TY - JOUR T1 - Tubers as fallback foods and their impact on Hadza hunter-gatherers. AU - Marlowe,Frank W, AU - Berbesque,Julia C, PY - 2009/4/8/entrez PY - 2009/4/8/pubmed PY - 2010/3/2/medline SP - 751 EP - 8 JF - American journal of physical anthropology JO - Am. J. Phys. Anthropol. VL - 140 IS - 4 N2 - The Hadza are hunter-gatherers in Tanzania. Their diet can be conveniently categorized into five main categories: tubers, berries, meat, baobab, and honey. We showed the Hadza photos of these foods and asked them to rank them in order of preference. Honey was ranked the highest. Tubers, as expected from their low caloric value, were ranked lowest. Given that tubers are least preferred, we used kilograms of tubers arriving in camp across the year as a minimum estimate of their availability. Tubers fit the definition of fallback foods because they are the most continuously available but least preferred foods. Tubers are more often taken when berries are least available. We examined the impact of all foods by assessing variation in adult body mass index (BMI) and percent body fat (%BF) in relation to amount of foods arriving in camp. We found, controlling for region and season, women of reproductive age had a higher %BF in camps where more meat was acquired and a lower %BF where more tubers were taken. We discuss the implications of these results for the Hadza. We also discuss the importance of tubers in human evolution. SN - 1096-8644 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/19350623/Tubers_as_fallback_foods_and_their_impact_on_Hadza_hunter_gatherers_ L2 - https://doi.org/10.1002/ajpa.21040 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -