Constraint and trade-offs regulate energy expenditure during childhood.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Children's metabolic energy expenditure is central to evolutionary and epidemiological frameworks for understanding variation in human phenotype and health. Nonetheless, the impact of a physically active lifestyle and heavy burden of infectious disease on child metabolism remains unclear. Using energetic, activity, and biomarker measures, we show that Shuar forager-horticulturalist children of Amazonian Ecuador are ~25% more physically active and, in association with immune activity, have ~20% greater resting energy expenditure than children from industrial populations. Despite these differences, Shuar children's total daily energy expenditure, measured using doubly labeled water, is indistinguishable from industrialized counterparts. Trade-offs in energy allocation between competing physiological tasks, within a constrained energy budget, appear to shape childhood phenotypic variation (e.g., patterns of growth). These trade-offs may contribute to the lifetime obesity and metabolic health disparities that emerge during rapid economic development.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Urlacher, SS; Snodgrass, JJ; Dugas, LR; Sugiyama, LS; Liebert, MA; Joyce, CJ; Pontzer, H

Published Date

  • December 18, 2019

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 5 / 12

Start / End Page

  • eaax1065 -

PubMed ID

  • 32064311

Pubmed Central ID

  • 32064311

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2375-2548

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 2375-2548

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1126/sciadv.aax1065


  • eng