Although food will sustain a growing population for a limited amount of time, Malthus believes the idea of checks such as disease and famine allow for a much longer period of sustained population. With an exponentially growing population and a limited supply of food, steps need to be taken to keep the two factors equal. Thomas Malthus states that population must be checked to have enough food to sustain the entire population. Famine, disease, and hazardous working conditions were viewed as a positive check by him because it was cutting down population to fit the amount of food given. Malthus also explains that cutting down the rate of reproduction in the lower class will check the population.