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The Metabolic Ghetto
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  • Cited by 14
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    This book has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Wells, Jonathan C. K. Wibaek, Rasmus and Poullas, Marios 2018. The Dual Burden of Malnutrition Increases the Risk of Cesarean Delivery: Evidence From India. Frontiers in Public Health, Vol. 6, Issue. ,

    Vaughan, Megan 2018. Conceptualising metabolic disorder in Southern Africa: Biology, history and global health. BioSocieties,

    Haisma, Hinke Yousefzadeh, Sepideh and Boele Van Hensbroek, Pieter 2018. Towards a capability approach to child growth: A theoretical framework. Maternal & Child Nutrition, Vol. 14, Issue. 2, p. e12534.

    Wells, Jonathan C K 2018. Life history trade-offs and the partitioning of maternal investment. Evolution, Medicine, and Public Health, Vol. 2018, Issue. 1, p. 153.

    Macintosh, Alison A Wells, Jonathan C K and Stock, Jay T 2018. Maternal investment, maturational rate of the offspring and mechanical competence of the adult female skeleton. Evolution, Medicine, and Public Health, Vol. 2018, Issue. 1, p. 167.

    Wells, Jonathan C. K. 2018. The capacity–load model of non-communicable disease risk: understanding the effects of child malnutrition, ethnicity and the social determinants of health. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 72, Issue. 5, p. 688.

    Wells, Jonathan C. K. Devakumar, Delan Manandhar, Dharma S. Saville, Naomi Chaube, S. S. Costello, A. and Osrin, David 2018. Associations of stunting at 2 years with body composition and blood pressure at 8 years of age: longitudinal cohort analysis from lowland Nepal. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition,

    Wells, Jonathan C. K. and Marphatia, Akanksha A. 2018. The Palgrave Handbook of Biology and Society. p. 561.

    Pomeroy, Emma Macintosh, Alison Wells, Jonathan C.K. Cole, Tim J. and Stock, Jay T. 2018. Relationship between body mass, lean mass, fat mass, and limb bone cross-sectional geometry: Implications for estimating body mass and physique from the skeleton. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, Vol. 166, Issue. 1, p. 56.

    Wells, Jonathan C K 2017. Understanding developmental plasticity as adaptation requires an inter-generational perspective. Evolution, Medicine, and Public Health, Vol. 2017, Issue. 1, p. 185.

    Wells, Jonathan C.K. 2017. Worldwide variability in growth and its association with health: Incorporating body composition, developmental plasticity, and intergenerational effects. American Journal of Human Biology, Vol. 29, Issue. 2, p. e22954.

    Wells, Jonathan C K Figueiroa, José N and Alves, Joao G 2017. Maternal pelvic dimensions and neonatal size. Evolution, Medicine, and Public Health, Vol. 2017, Issue. 1, p. 191.

    Wells, Jonathan C. K. 2017. The New “Obstetrical Dilemma”: Stunting, Obesity and the Risk of Obstructed Labour. The Anatomical Record, Vol. 300, Issue. 4, p. 716.

    Wells, Jonathan C. K. Pomeroy, Emma Walimbe, Subhash R. Popkin, Barry M. and Yajnik, Chittaranjan S. 2016. The Elevated Susceptibility to Diabetes in India: An Evolutionary Perspective. Frontiers in Public Health, Vol. 4, Issue. ,


Book description

Chronic diseases have rapidly become the leading global cause of morbidity and mortality, yet there is poor understanding of this transition, or why particular social and ethnic groups are especially susceptible. In this book, Wells adopts a multidisciplinary approach to human nutrition, emphasising how power relations shape the physiological pathways to obesity, diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease. Part I reviews the physiological basis of chronic diseases, presenting a 'capacity-load' model that integrates the nutritional contributions of developmental experience and adult lifestyle. Part II presents an evolutionary perspective on the sensitivity of human metabolism to ecological stresses, highlighting how social hierarchy impacts metabolism on an intergenerational timescale. Part III reviews how nutrition has changed over time, as societies evolved and coalesced towards a single global economic system. Part IV integrates these physiological, evolutionary and politico-economic perspectives in a unifying framework, to deepen our understanding of the societal basis of metabolic ill-health.


'Is it really possible to bring together philosophy, economics, history, evolutionary biology, epidemiology, nutrition and metabolism to understand obesity and chronic disease? Jonathan Wells has done it in an immensely readable and insightful way. A wonderful book.'

Michael Marmot - University College London

'No other book before has provided such a sophisticated and eloquent argument integrating knowledge about foetal and childhood environment and nutrition, with impacts of social, economic and historical factors. Jonathan Wells persuasively argues that a broad scope and an evolutionary framework are necessary to build our understanding of chronic and globally important diseases. Consequently, [he] succeeds in achieving a true consilience of very disparate perspectives on our health.'

Grazyna Jasienska - Jagiellonian University, Poland

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