Friday, September 20, 2019

Our evolving skulls

At One Zero, Katherine Reynolds Lewis writes,
about 250 years ago, our faces began to change. Boyd argues that industrialization interrupted the ancestral patterns of weaning and feeding, with babies nursing on demand for years while also trying solid foods under adults’ watchful eyes. Boyd says that the widespread adoption of bottle feeding, pacifiers and soft processed food deprived toddlers of practice chewing and distorted the shapes of their mouths. (“In modern society you have Gerber’s baby food,” Corruccini told me. “Etruscan kids had to chew once they were getting off breast milk. Babies have remarkably powerful chewing capabilities.”) Just like diabetes and heart disease, malocclusion — the misalignment of jaws and teeth — followed industrialization around the globe. Meanwhile, people in societies that never industrialized enjoyed well-aligned teeth and jaws.
Read much more here.

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