Nutrition Physical Work and Natural Fertility

The effects of hard physical work and nutrition on reproductive ability suggest that differences in the fertility of populations, historically and today, may be explained by a direct pathway from food intake to fertility (Figure 6), in addition to the classic Malthusian pathway through mortality. Charles Darwin described this commonsense direct relationship between food supplies and fertility, observing the following:

1. Domestic animals that have regular, plentiful food without working to get it are more fertile than the corresponding wild animals.

2. ''Hard living retards the period at which animals conceive.''

3. The amount of food affects the fertility of the same individual.

4. It is difficult to fatten a cow that is lactating.

All of Darwin's dicta apply to human beings.

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