The evolutionary inevitability of obesity in modern society: implications for behavioral solutions to weight control in the general population

R J Stubbs, C Gail, S Whybrow, P Gilbert

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Humans have evolved during periods of relative food scarcity and occasional abundance. Until very recently food intake was limited by availability within the environment and this played the key role in limiting weight gain. Evolution has selected our behavior and physiological systems to “bank� surplus energy during times of abundance. We have now adapted our environment to ensure that, for the vast majority of us, food is of a high quality (energy or protein rich) and readily available, to the point that the health consequences of over-consumption now exceed those of under-consumption. That we have not had time to evolve adaptations to this new abundance of food makes obesity at a population level a near inevitable outcome.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationObesity and Weight Management
Subtitle of host publicationChallenges, Practices and Health Implications
PublisherNova Science Publishers Inc
Pages29-50
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-61942-839-3
ISBN (Print)9781619428249
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sep 2012

Publication series

NamePublic Health in the 21st Century

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Keywords

  • behavior change
  • evolution
  • obesity
  • self-criticism
  • relapse
  • compassion

Cite this

Stubbs, R. J., Gail, C., Whybrow, S., & Gilbert, P. (2012). The evolutionary inevitability of obesity in modern society: implications for behavioral solutions to weight control in the general population. In Obesity and Weight Management: Challenges, Practices and Health Implications (pp. 29-50). (Public Health in the 21st Century). Nova Science Publishers Inc.