Re: Human Evolution and Obesity

Debra Mckay (
Tue, 10 Oct 1995 18:40:55 GMT (UrOpiate) wrote:
>the problem with this line of inquiry is that it ignores that weight gain
>is directly associated with the amount and control of available
>resources...look at the !Kung in SAfrica....very little body fat...very
>little food available...

Haven't you heard that the !Kung are the "original affluent society"?
That is, they have lots of food available and they have to expend very
little energy to obtain it, compared to agricultural or pastoral
societies. Their lack of body fat has nothing to do with availability of

look at the US...lots of food..lots of fat
>people.... to say weight is genetically predisposed in our gentic line is
>highly abstract if not fruitless....

Not necessarily. If you want to talk genetics, modern humans are
genetically attuned to a hunter/gatherer (gatherer/hunter?) diet because
that's basically what we've been over 99% of the time since H. sapiens
arose. Agriculture arose only 10,000 years ago, which simply is not long
enough for any significant change in the way our bodies deal with diet to
have evolved. There is a whole hatful of diseases that exist simply
because we are no longer eating what our bodies can deal with--and
obesity is one of them. It's not "too much food" that is the problem in
the US--it is too much of the *wrong* food. Poorly nourished people are
often overweight.

weight and body fat are dependent. on
>many being that we have not be required to hang from trees
>for 5 million years...


Debbie McKay