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Inactivity and greater access to nutrition leads to increase body mass. This is made worse by communities which have adapted genetically to low calorific diets suddenly (in evolutionary terms) having unlimited access to calorie-dense diets. Other profit driven products (including processed, “value-added” - read more expensive- foods; tobacco and alcohol) are marketed aggressively, and environmental degradation from unrestrained population pressure on limited resources are contributing to rising disease prevalence. Economic growth, driving increased competitiveness, greater pressure on the workforce, less control over work, chronic unemployment and more work insecurity contribute to significant adaptive demand on people, leading to more extreme forms of “relaxation” such as substance abuse, and breakdown of traditional support systems such as the family and community.

The nutritional environment prevailing in the uterine environment during gestation seems to “set” the body’s metabolic tone. Variation throughout the life-span from this nutritional standard is associated with greater risk of a range of chronic diseases, including CHD, diabetes and other currently-important chronic diseases. This is called “Barker’s Hypothesis”. So mothers who had lo, but adequate, nourishment during their pregnancies, and who give birth to low weight babies, which are then subject to a richer nutritional environment, showing increased weight gain and higher BMI as children and adults are at greater risk of many diseases, than either low birth weight babies that retain low BMI throughout life, or high b.w. babies that retain high b.w.