Nobel laureate Robert Fogel's compelling new study examines health, nutrition and technology over the last three centuries and beyond. Throughout most of human history, chronic malnutrition has been the norm. During the past three centuries, however, a synergy between improvements in productive technology and in human physiology has enabled humans to more than double their average longevity and to increase their average body size by over 50 per cent. Larger, healthier humans have contributed to the acceleration of economic growth and technological change, resulting in reduced economic inequality, declining hours of work and a corresponding increase in leisure time. Increased longevity has also brought increased demand for health care. Professor Fogel argues that health care should be viewed as the growth industry of the twenty-first century and systems of financing it should be reformed. His book will be essential reading for all those interested in economics, demography, history and health care policy.

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