The Evolution of Fatness and Susceptibility to Obesity


Efforts to address the obesity epidemic require that we understand the impact of our modern environment on the human phenotype. An evolutionary approach can be used to address two questions. First, we need to understand what kind of animal we are, so that we comprehend why environmental changes induce increased fat deposition. Second, we need to understand what kind of environments our species evolved in, to identify what exactly we are altering in the twentieth and twenty‚Äźfirst centuries.

Keywords: adipose tissue; seasonality; encephalization; agriculture; reproduction


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Further Reading

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Wells JCK, Chomtho S and Fewtrell MS (2007) Programming of body composition by early growth and nutrition. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society – in press.

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Wells, Jonathan CK(Mar 2008) The Evolution of Fatness and Susceptibility to Obesity. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. [doi: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0020765]