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date: 31 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines scholarship in the field of economics and human biology from the pre-Columbian era to the present in the context of Latin America. This literature’s main themes consider the evolution of living standards in the very long run to shed light on the advantages and disadvantages of the human social development and organization process. The author examines how, through historical anthropometric studies, one can assess changes in biological standards of living to understand how they were affected by economic development in different Latin American regions. These studies confirm that anthropometric indicators are a proxy of living standards and inequality. This literature also adds to the comprehension of synergies between health and nutrition indicators and economic performance among different population groups; it shows that findings generated from this research can lead to public policy recommendations to address growing challenges in public health, such as obesity and diabetes.

Keywords: living standards, anthropometric history, economic history, inequality, health, nutrition

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