In analyzing the connections between nutrition and anthropology, it should be noted that the state of knowledge and available techniques are not yet sufficiently developed to support conclusions about such questions as the universality of dietary norms. Food choices are above all cultural, although they are limited by the physical environment and technological capacities. Human beings have some dietary constraints imposed by metabolic needs, but they manifest great ability to adapt to different dietary regimes, from the exclusive vegetarianism of Hindus to the almost exclusively animal-based diet of the Eskimos. In most parts of the world, the contribution of proteins is remarkably stable at about 12% of total caloric intake. Numerous examples of genetic adaptation illustrate the flexibility of humans. Many African populations, for example, have deficits of intestinal lactase, but herding groups do not. the diet of parts of the New Guinea highlands is almost completely lacking in proteins, but body growth is not inhibited. Such examples raise questions about the applicability of Recommended Dietary Allowances and evaluation of nutritional risks. Daily protein intake ranging from .2 to 5 gm/kg of body weight has been measured in different societies. WHO recommended 1.3 gm, but this norm has changed through time, and it is currently believed that total caloric intake is more important in insuring adequate growth. Food supplementation programs based on protein have generally failed. For most societies, the diet is varied enough to contain a sufficient portion of essential nutrients. Specific lacks have often been noted under very artificial conditions such as on ships at sea or in prisons. A reduction of body format may be biologically fixed quantity of food. The population of Mexico represents 24% of that of the US in individuals but only 17% in body mass. Clinical methods allow signs of deficiency at an earlier phase of development has been costly and disappointing. Anthropometry, which is sensitive, easy, and inexpensive, has been found to be the most appropriate method for nutritional screening in public health. The 4 essential measurements proposed by the WHO to assess nutritional status are weight, height, arm circumference, and tricepital as well as for excess feeding and obesity are all based on anthropometry. Nutritional risks appear especially heightened when traditional ways of life are modified by social forces as in urbanization or by introduction of a new food, as with potatoes in Ireland.