CEM Seminar- Christopher Kuzawa

You are what your mother ate: the intergenerational origins of adult health in the Philippines

Department of Anthropology
Northwestern University 
You Are What You Eat
"You are what you eat" is a well-known refrain that reminds us of the links between what we eat and our health. Although there is unquestionably truth to this concept, it is now clear that our health is not only a product of what we eat, but also what was eaten in the past by our recent ancestors – and in particular, by our mothers. In this talk, Kuzawa will discuss his research in the Philippines that is exploring the intergenerational effects of the mother's diet and nutritional status on the growth and health of her offspring. This research suggests that fetal nutrition conveys "memories" of the mother's past nutritional experiences and underscores how improving the health and nutrition of today's infants and children will also benefit the health of their future offspring.