evolutionary explanation for obesity

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  • Evolutionary explanation for obesity
    • obesity results from the evolutionary tendency to store energy as fat for times of food scarcity
      • genes once favoured survival now favour obesity.
    • explains why some more vulnerable to dramatic weight increases
      • thrifty gene model
        • selective advantage for people w/ insulin resistance - able to metabolise food more efficiently
        • an advantage in times of food scarcity, now food always available this leads to obesity
    • Rowe (2007)
      • found Pima Indians with high levels of obesity from thrifty metabolism that allows them to metabolise more efficiently
    • evaluation
      • thrifty gene explains why identifiable groups of people who do not have the gene are able to eat lots and not put on weight
      • DiMeglio + Mates (2000) found participants given liquid cals increased weight
        • implies liquid cals caused huge increase in obesity b/c humans not shaped by evolution to cope w/ them.
      • Idea foodstuff not present in EEA causing obesity open to criticism due to fact obesity levels also risen in countries where HFCS not commonly used.
    • The environment of evolutionary adaptedness (EEA) - describes the conditions and properties of the external world in which evolutionary adaptations occur


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