Can evolutionary medicine help explain the current obesity epidemic in the UK?

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Click or scan to download 'Can evolutionary medicine help explain the current obesity epidemic in the UK?'

Can evolutionary medicine help explain the current obesity epidemic in the UK?

Britain has an increasing number of obese people, explinations for this trend have focused on lifestyle choices such as diet and exercise. The consequences of this growth in obese people in the country is that there is an associated increase in a variety of morbidities, including cardio-vascular disease and type 2 diabetes. I sought to reconsider this worrying trend from a different perpective, that of evolutionary medicine, to see if there was a deeper explanation that could help us combat this trend. To acheive this I used internet searches and searches of medical databases to locate appropriate literature on the issues, the causes and the consequences of obesity. I then looked at literature on evolutionary origins of obesity to understand the context in which obesity is framed. After looking at these sources I can see that many of the lifestyle choices of people are in fact based upon their genetic programming and that the population’s tendancy to store weight may well be an evolved response to the hardships of our ancestors’ lives. This means that evolutionary medicine can help explain why obesity develops and can offer hope used to help combat this dangerous condition.

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