The Transition to Agriculture and Industrialization Changed the Human Face. Can Vegetarianism be a New Factor of Change? Review of the Literature

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Natalia Morales & Viviana Toro-Ibacache


Approximately eleven thousand years ago humans beings went from feeding on animals they hunted or fished and fruits and plants they gathered, to crops they could grow through agriculture. This change dramatically altered the shape of the skull, particularly the face, which became more gracile, and also reduced the contribution of key nutrients. Along with industrialization, there was great deterioration of oral health. Leaving behind the hunter-gatherer diet has even been attributed to the origins of dental malocclusions, as masticatory stress was reduce, and reducing the size of the maxilla and mandible with respect to the teeth. Nowadays, there is greater awareness in the general population regarding personal care and their surroundings. Diets that exclude certain types of foods such as animal products are becoming more prevalent. The vegetarian diet has several characteristics that can affect metabolism, particularly the bones, as did the change from hunter-gatherer to agriculture in the past. The present review seeks to analyze the changes of the human diet, from the nutritional and mechanical point of view and how these have affected the shape of the face. This in order to understand the possible effects of the introduction of restrictive type feeds, such as the vegetarian diet in the body, particularly in facial anatomy.

KEY WORDS: Vegetarianism; Chewing; Nutrition; Craniofacial Shape; Dietary Changes.

How to cite this article

MORALES, N. & TORO-IBACACHE, V. The transition to agriculture and industrialization changed the human face. Can vegetarianism be a new factor of change? Review of the literature. Int. J. Morphol., 36(1):35-40, 2018.