Boas argued for nearly 50 years that the study of human growth provides a mirror of the human condition. It is widely accepted today that the patterns of growth of human populations reflect the "material and moral conditions of that society" (Tanner, 1986). Those material and moral conditions are, in large parts, determinants of human health, in terms of physical, social, and emotional well-being. Viewed in this perspective, the study of human growth in its cultural context contributes to many interests of medical anthropology.
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