Time For Life Course Approach in Anthropology

Vipin Gupta Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology,

University of Delhi

Email: drvipiing@gmail.com

The idea of the life course approach is based on the hypothesis of developmental origins of health and disease (DOHaD). According to this approach, the exposures acting during a critical window of biological development can alter the structure or function of organs, tissues, or body systems and which, in turn, predispose people to disease at a later age. The human life course encompasses a long period from the day of conception to death and this journey of life has several biologically sensitive stages like foetal life, birth, neonatal stage, and childhood up to five years of age, puberty, adolescence, and senescence. There are specific vulnerable windows of life pertaining to women, like menarche, monthly periods, gestation(s) and menopause, that has the potential for causing life-long unwanted biological impressions.