chapter  11
17 Pages

Variations in health and disease: race, ethnicity or ‘nutrition transition’

Introduction Variations in biology arise as a resu lt of advantageous ‘m utation’. This phenom enon is essential for the survival of a species, since those m utations tha t are selected to persist either provide an advantage or are neu tral or po ten tia lly n eu tra l. ‘N a tu ra l selection’ brings about adap ta tion to the environm ent and ‘genetic drift’ contributes to variation on a small scale over a short period of time. Blyth in 1835 emphasised food as a forceful determ inant of variation.