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The authors of the article “Stone Agers in the Fast Lane: Chronic Degenerative Diseases in Evolutionary Perspective”, Eaton, Kroner, and Shostak, provide an argument for the increasing diseases in modern societies.

The authors of the article “Stone Agers in the Fast Lane: Chronic Degenerative Diseases in Evolutionary Perspective”, Eaton, Kroner, and Shostak, provide an argument for the increasing diseases in modern societies.

They build an evolutionary model to justify their argument, which suggests that biocultural evolution promotes chronic illnesses such as cancer, atherosclerosis, obesity, and diabetes mellitus among others. These diseases result from the interaction between genetically controlled biochemical processes and many biocultural influences (Eaton, Kroner, and Shostak 739). The genetic composition of modern people is not different from that of their ancestors. However, their culture has greatly transformed since the industrial revolution.
According to Eaton, Kroner, and Shostak (746), industrialization has resulted in many changes. Every person’s health is now dependent on the interaction between genetically controlled biochemistry and lifestyle factors. For instance, chemically manufactured foods have altered people’s nutrition. In addition, environmental evolution has resulted in congestion and lack of exercise, and people are continuously exposed to harmful substances such as alcohol and tobacco. The article by Eaton, Kroner, and Shostak reflects some of the health challenges for peri-urban slum dwellers. These challenges are discussed in an article “The 21st Century Health Challenge of Slums and Cities” by Sclar, Garau, and Carolini. The 21st century industrialization has facilitated proliferation of urban centers, and their ever increasing population has resulted in health challenges, especially for slum dwellers.
Health problems are common in urban populations of developing countries, which experience socio-economic hardships. According to Sclar, Garau, and Carolini (901), close to half the urban population in Africa, Asia, and Latin America have health problems. Economic challenges have forced millions of people in these countries to live in slums, which are characterized by inadequate safe drinking water, poor housing, inadequate access to sanitation, insecurity of tenure, and overcrowding. Slum dwellers are constantly faced with a threat from communicable diseases caused by the deplorable conditions. Inadequate water and sanitation leads to diseases such as diarrhoea, typhoid, and worm infections, and overcrowding facilitates their fast spread.
Furthermore, the economic challenges deny slum dwellers proper nutrition and access to a quality health care. This leads to low body resistance, accelerating transmission of these diseases. Poor drainage systems increase the risk of malaria by forming breeding grounds for mosquitoes. High levels of poverty, harsh physical standards, and poor social conditions lead to chronic stress. According to Sclar, Garau, and Carolini (902), depression affects many urban adults, with poor urban residents suffering the most. Sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV are high in cities, particularly in slums, where poverty has led to a high rate of sex workers.
Eaton, Kroner, and Shostak’s proposed evolutionary model justifies the increasing diseases in the modern society. These diseases are unusual, rare, or almost unknown in cultures, with features almost the same as those of Late Paleolithic ancestors. However, their prevalence changes suddenly when the previously unaffected society adopts a changing lifestyle. Sclar, Garau, and Carolini identified urbanization as one cause for their increased presence. This is facilitated by socio-economic changes, where the poor population lives in deplorable conditions in slums, which encourage proliferation of diseases such as diarrhoea, typhoid, and worm infections. People’s lives in slums is dependent on the interaction between genetically controlled biochemistry and lifestyle factors. The latter is caused by economic hardships, which force people to live in conditions that increase disease prevalence.

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