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Obesity and Human Evolution

matt8800
Posts: 2,077
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8/1/2016 2:59:58 AM
Posted: 4 months ago
39% of the worlds population is overweight and 13% are considered obese. Current numbers have doubled since 1980.

Obviously, this was not a problem 1000 years ago.

Is it possible that human evolution has not been able to keep up with the agricultural and industrial revolution?

Will human evolution eventually deselect obesity in the new environment (abundance of cheap food) through sexual selection?

Who's kidding who...even overweight people would prefer to have sex with someone who has a naturally appealing appearance :)
imperialchimp
Posts: 252
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8/12/2016 6:43:00 AM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/1/2016 2:59:58 AM, matt8800 wrote:
39% of the worlds population is overweight and 13% are considered obese. Current numbers have doubled since 1980.

Obviously, this was not a problem 1000 years ago.

Is it possible that human evolution has not been able to keep up with the agricultural and industrial revolution?

Will human evolution eventually deselect obesity in the new environment (abundance of cheap food) through sexual selection?

Who's kidding who...even overweight people would prefer to have sex with someone who has a naturally appealing appearance :)

obesity is an acquired trait that doesn't interfere with genes. Obesity has nothing to do with biological evolution.
Ape Lives Matter (ALM)

What if I were to tell you that humans have false logic? Prepare for confusion.

-.-- --- ..- / ... .... --- ..- .-.. -.. / .... .- ...- . / -. --- - / - .-. .- -. ... .-.. .- - . -.. / - .... .. ... .-.-.- .-.-.- .-.-.-

Don't waste your time trying to find truth...you pleb!
imperialchimp
Posts: 252
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8/12/2016 6:47:12 AM
Posted: 3 months ago
Unless there was/were some mutation(s) that caused some humans to burn fat real quickly.
Ape Lives Matter (ALM)

What if I were to tell you that humans have false logic? Prepare for confusion.

-.-- --- ..- / ... .... --- ..- .-.. -.. / .... .- ...- . / -. --- - / - .-. .- -. ... .-.. .- - . -.. / - .... .. ... .-.-.- .-.-.- .-.-.-

Don't waste your time trying to find truth...you pleb!
matt8800
Posts: 2,077
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8/12/2016 3:05:34 PM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/12/2016 6:43:00 AM, imperialchimp wrote:
At 8/1/2016 2:59:58 AM, matt8800 wrote:
39% of the worlds population is overweight and 13% are considered obese. Current numbers have doubled since 1980.

Obviously, this was not a problem 1000 years ago.

Is it possible that human evolution has not been able to keep up with the agricultural and industrial revolution?

Will human evolution eventually deselect obesity in the new environment (abundance of cheap food) through sexual selection?

Who's kidding who...even overweight people would prefer to have sex with someone who has a naturally appealing appearance :)

obesity is an acquired trait that doesn't interfere with genes. Obesity has nothing to do with biological evolution.

Evolution has a direct effect on behavior through natural or sexual selection. Some people stay lean and in good shape despite having access to an abundance of poor quality food. Whether it is a natural dislike for junk food or a fast metabolism, there are reasons some people get obese and others stay lean in an identical environment. My theory is that people in good shape are more likely to be desirable sexual partners and will have more offspring.
Chaosism
Posts: 2,669
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8/12/2016 3:34:35 PM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/1/2016 2:59:58 AM, matt8800 wrote:
39% of the worlds population is overweight and 13% are considered obese. Current numbers have doubled since 1980.

Obviously, this was not a problem 1000 years ago.

Is it possible that human evolution has not been able to keep up with the agricultural and industrial revolution?

Will human evolution eventually deselect obesity in the new environment (abundance of cheap food) through sexual selection?

Who's kidding who...even overweight people would prefer to have sex with someone who has a naturally appealing appearance :)

I believe that we've basically shut off the evolutionary processes though powerful control of the environment (rather than the environment controlling us, so to speak) and advanced medical technology, which we employ successfully to save the lave of those who would may have otherwise been removed from the gene pool.

That being said, our ancestral dietary urges and tendencies do not change through evolutionary selection mechanisms, but are instead fully satiable in the world we've crafted. The negative impact of unhealthily satisfying a driving need is pretty well mitigated by our technology and by a very reduced "minimum level of fitness" required for survival.

Take, for example, the craving for sugar. This was a driving need "back in the day" when food and other sources of energy were harder to get or possibly even scarce. The overcharged desire to acquire it proved to be beneficial, since it would have been worth the investment of energy, in a biological sense. Essentially, the craving was shaped by a more demanding environment and we've disabled the means of adaption to our far less demanding environment, today.

An article on sugar and evolution: http://www.nytimes.com...
keithprosser
Posts: 2,045
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8/12/2016 6:47:49 PM
Posted: 3 months ago
My theory is that people in good shape are more likely to be desirable sexual partners and will have more offspring.

I'd guess the other way because almost everbody can find a sexual partner regardless of their attractiveness. Out of shape people are more likely to be careless about contraception and will have more offspring.
wuliheron
Posts: 105
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8/12/2016 7:29:29 PM
Posted: 3 months ago
Obesity is now considered an immune system response in most cases, essentially no different than sneezing all the time or whatever. That might sound strange, but it has also recently been discovered that, contrary to long standing belief, the immune system appears to dominate the brain as well and determines how social we become. Rather than the human body merely fighting it out dog-eat-dog with everything in our environment we are intimately dancing with everything including the micro flora. Notably the micro flora in our gut are incredibly complex and constantly adapting to our environment. The idea that obesity is merely related to how much someone eats or how much exercise they get is merely cultural bias just as today skinny women are considered more attractive while, throughout most of history they were considered unattractive and a sign of poverty.
matt8800
Posts: 2,077
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8/13/2016 2:53:07 AM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/12/2016 6:47:49 PM, keithprosser wrote:
My theory is that people in good shape are more likely to be desirable sexual partners and will have more offspring.

I'd guess the other way because almost everbody can find a sexual partner regardless of their attractiveness. Out of shape people are more likely to be careless about contraception and will have more offspring.

True. People in poverty and less intelligent people seem to reproduce faster. If we change our planets environment too much, I think that the 'haves' would fare better than the 'have nots' at that point however.
matt8800
Posts: 2,077
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8/13/2016 3:02:04 AM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/12/2016 3:34:35 PM, Chaosism wrote:
At 8/1/2016 2:59:58 AM, matt8800 wrote:
39% of the worlds population is overweight and 13% are considered obese. Current numbers have doubled since 1980.

Obviously, this was not a problem 1000 years ago.

Is it possible that human evolution has not been able to keep up with the agricultural and industrial revolution?

Will human evolution eventually deselect obesity in the new environment (abundance of cheap food) through sexual selection?

Who's kidding who...even overweight people would prefer to have sex with someone who has a naturally appealing appearance :)

I believe that we've basically shut off the evolutionary processes though powerful control of the environment (rather than the environment controlling us, so to speak) and advanced medical technology, which we employ successfully to save the lave of those who would may have otherwise been removed from the gene pool.

I was more thinking sexual selection would adapt away from obesity just like sexual selection has created the stalk-eyed fly (https://en.wikipedia.org...). Keith brought up a good point that obese people are more likely to be poor and the poor reproduce faster. At minimum, I think those forces would compete.


That being said, our ancestral dietary urges and tendencies do not change through evolutionary selection mechanisms, but are instead fully satiable in the world we've crafted. The negative impact of unhealthily satisfying a driving need is pretty well mitigated by our technology and by a very reduced "minimum level of fitness" required for survival.

Take, for example, the craving for sugar. This was a driving need "back in the day" when food and other sources of energy were harder to get or possibly even scarce. The overcharged desire to acquire it proved to be beneficial, since it would have been worth the investment of energy, in a biological sense. Essentially, the craving was shaped by a more demanding environment and we've disabled the means of adaption to our far less demanding environment, today.

Exactly. That is pretty much the point I had made but evolution did not have time to adapt the other way in an environment of abundance. Of course, abundance for growing masses may not last forever. Then survival of the fittest would be back in play if that ever changes. Another 100 years? 1000? 10,000?


An article on sugar and evolution: http://www.nytimes.com...
keithprosser
Posts: 2,045
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8/13/2016 3:36:31 AM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/13/2016 2:53:07 AM, matt8800 wrote:
At 8/12/2016 6:47:49 PM, keithprosser wrote:
My theory is that people in good shape are more likely to be desirable sexual partners and will have more offspring.

I'd guess the other way because almost everbody can find a sexual partner regardless of their attractiveness. Out of shape people are more likely to be careless about contraception and will have more offspring.

True. People in poverty and less intelligent people seem to reproduce faster. If we change our planets environment too much, I think that the 'haves' would fare better than the 'have nots' at that point however.

If in some possible future the 'haves' out-breed the 'have nots' then civilisation as we know it must have collapsed.
matt8800
Posts: 2,077
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8/13/2016 3:51:13 AM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/13/2016 3:36:31 AM, keithprosser wrote:
At 8/13/2016 2:53:07 AM, matt8800 wrote:
At 8/12/2016 6:47:49 PM, keithprosser wrote:
My theory is that people in good shape are more likely to be desirable sexual partners and will have more offspring.

I'd guess the other way because almost everbody can find a sexual partner regardless of their attractiveness. Out of shape people are more likely to be careless about contraception and will have more offspring.

True. People in poverty and less intelligent people seem to reproduce faster. If we change our planets environment too much, I think that the 'haves' would fare better than the 'have nots' at that point however.

If in some possible future the 'haves' out-breed the 'have nots' then civilisation as we know it must have collapsed.

Since population growth fuels the economy, isn't it inevitable that something is going to change eventually?
MagicAintReal
Posts: 592
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8/13/2016 5:39:10 AM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/1/2016 2:59:58 AM, matt8800 wrote:
39% of the worlds population is overweight and 13% are considered obese. Current numbers have doubled since 1980.

Obviously, this was not a problem 1000 years ago.

Is it possible that human evolution has not been able to keep up with the agricultural and industrial revolution?

Actually, it's the opposite problem.
We evolved in the African Savannah, in environments where meals weren't guarantees, so being able to store fat, burn fewer calories, and eat well when there was food are actually highly evolved traits.

This isn't evolution not keeping up with agriculture, it's evolution going beyond its critical point, working too well given the constraints of modern times.
bigotry
Posts: 1,068
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8/13/2016 5:47:31 AM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/1/2016 2:59:58 AM, matt8800 wrote:
39% of the worlds population is overweight and 13% are considered obese. Current numbers have doubled since 1980.

Obviously, this was not a problem 1000 years ago.

Is it possible that human evolution has not been able to keep up with the agricultural and industrial revolution?

Will human evolution eventually deselect obesity in the new environment (abundance of cheap food) through sexual selection?

Who's kidding who...even overweight people would prefer to have sex with someone who has a naturally appealing appearance :)

Obesity is a sign of wealth for a nation. It has nothing to do with a perceived notion of human evolution, even if you believe humans are evolving. Its just a sign of money. poorer places of the world go hungry. That's not possible in an obese society.
Also obese is defined by your bmi which time and time again has been shown to be bs. So I wouldn't even trust those numbers tbh.
keithprosser
Posts: 2,045
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8/13/2016 8:41:52 AM
Posted: 3 months ago
If in some possible future the 'haves' out-breed the 'have nots' then civilisation as we know it must have collapsed.

Since population growth fuels the economy, isn't it inevitable that something is going to change eventually?


Its a certainty that things will change - something is bound to be different 100 years from now; the problem is knowing what will be different. Not knowing what will be different makes it impossible to know what the consequences will be!

It is generally accepted that the best case carrying capacity if the earth is less than 10 billion (word pop. now about 7 billion). It is likely that AGW will reduce the margin far more quickly than can be accomodated by non-traumatic means - certainly natural genetic evolution can't do much to help with rapid ecological change - it takes 100's or 1000's of generations to make significant change that way - unless you give natural selection a 'bit of a nudge'.

Hence we are likely see massive intervention - by which I mean international wars over resources and even class wars within nations as the 'have not' share of the dwindling cake dips below sustainabilty and the 'haves' cling on desperately to their advantages. Eugenic programs that primarily target have nots do fall under the category of 'class war'.

Re-connecting with the OP, we could be on the verge of some very significant changes in the human population - but I don't think sexual selection against fatties is going to be what drives it.
matt8800
Posts: 2,077
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8/13/2016 2:40:14 PM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/13/2016 8:41:52 AM, keithprosser wrote:
If in some possible future the 'haves' out-breed the 'have nots' then civilisation as we know it must have collapsed.

Since population growth fuels the economy, isn't it inevitable that something is going to change eventually?


Its a certainty that things will change - something is bound to be different 100 years from now; the problem is knowing what will be different. Not knowing what will be different makes it impossible to know what the consequences will be!

It is generally accepted that the best case carrying capacity if the earth is less than 10 billion (word pop. now about 7 billion). It is likely that AGW will reduce the margin far more quickly than can be accomodated by non-traumatic means - certainly natural genetic evolution can't do much to help with rapid ecological change - it takes 100's or 1000's of generations to make significant change that way - unless you give natural selection a 'bit of a nudge'.

Hence we are likely see massive intervention - by which I mean international wars over resources and even class wars within nations as the 'have not' share of the dwindling cake dips below sustainabilty and the 'haves' cling on desperately to their advantages. Eugenic programs that primarily target have nots do fall under the category of 'class war'.

I agree with that. I have thought before that eugenics programs would be the most logical answer to address groups of people that take more from society than they give but, of course, there would be huge ethical considerations. Necessity may put its thumb on the scale in those conversations.

Re-connecting with the OP, we could be on the verge of some very significant changes in the human population - but I don't think sexual selection against fatties is going to be what drives it.
Axonly
Posts: 1,802
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8/22/2016 5:51:58 AM
Posted: 3 months ago
At 8/12/2016 6:47:49 PM, keithprosser wrote:
My theory is that people in good shape are more likely to be desirable sexual partners and will have more offspring.

I'd guess the other way because almost everbody can find a sexual partner regardless of their attractiveness. Out of shape people are more likely to be careless about contraception and will have more offspring.

Ya, too much gene flow
Meh!