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Titolo:
Human obesity: an evolutionary approach to understanding our bulging waistline
Autore:
Lev-Ran, A;
Indirizzi:
Maccabi Hlth Serv, Petah Tiqwa, Israel Maccabi Hlth Serv Petah Tiqwa Israel abi Hlth Serv, Petah Tiqwa, Israel
Titolo Testata:
DIABETES-METABOLISM RESEARCH AND REVIEWS
fascicolo: 5, volume: 17, anno: 2001,
pagine: 347 - 362
SICI:
1520-7552(200109/10)17:5<347:HOAEAT>2.0.ZU;2-P
Fonte:
ISI
Lingua:
ENG
Soggetto:
BODY-MASS INDEX; VISCERAL ADIPOSE-TISSUE; CORONARY HEART-DISEASE; ALL-CAUSE MORTALITY; NUTRITION EXAMINATION SURVEY; THRIFTY GENOTYPE HYPOTHESIS; CARDIOVASCULAR RISK-FACTORS; INTENTIONAL WEIGHT-LOSS; IOWA WOMENS HEALTH; AGED 40-64 YEARS;
Keywords:
obesity; human evolution; body fat distribution; longevity; human nutrition;
Tipo documento:
Review
Natura:
Periodico
Settore Disciplinare:
Clinical Medicine
Life Sciences
Citazioni:
234
Recensione:
Indirizzi per estratti:
Indirizzo: Lev-Ran, A Maccabi Hlth Serv, 3 Spiegel St, Petah Tiqwa, Israel Maccabi Hlth Serv 3 Spiegel St Petah Tiqwa Israel qwa, Israel
Citazione:
A. Lev-Ran, "Human obesity: an evolutionary approach to understanding our bulging waistline", DIABET M R, 17(5), 2001, pp. 347-362

Abstract

The unique worldwide spread of the human species and the remarkably long post-reproductive survival show that our genome permits excellent adaptationto vastly different environments. Moreover, the main scourges of later age, namely malignant growths and atherosclerosis, appear in humans later thanin shorter-living animals. In recent years, excess weight and obesity havebecome mass phenomena With a pronounced upward trend in all developed countries. However, despite the detrimental effects of being overweight, these populations live longer than ever, which in part may be explained by the availability of better medical treatment. The prevalence and predicted further spread of obesity can be understood in the light of evolution. In all animal species energy metabolism is asymmetric with energy accumulation ('thrifty genotype') being the necessary condition of survival during hard times. For humans, which are no different to other animals in this respect, this genetic programming was necessary for survival because during the course ofhistory, including the recorded history in the more developed Middle East,Europe or China, there was never a long period of uninterrupted food abundance, whereas famines were regular and frequent. Therefore fat accumulation, when food was available, meant survival at times of shortage, while the possible detrimental effects of overindulgence in food and being over-weightexpressed in unrealistically old age were irrelevant. it is the central, mostly intra-abdominal fat (in both humans and animals) that is more medically important than the subcutaneous truncal fat, and the accumulation of both types of fat is conditioned by high food consumption; therefore it is a historic novelty for human populations. In contrast, lower-body fat in humanfemales is unique in the animal kingdom: it is much less metabolically active, it is of much lower pathologic significance than central fat, and it is programmed to be mobilized mostly during pregnancy and lactation. In viewof all this, norms of desired weight should be based on hard mortality andmorbidity statistics and not on theoretical, esthetic or fashion considerations. By this criterion, the upper limit of desirable weight is likely to be body mass index (BMI) 27 or 28, but specified for different populations (sex, race, ethnic origin); moreover, with aging, the detrimental effects of obesity diminish and finally disappear. Risks of other pathologies related to obesity (e.g. diabetes, hypertension and coronary disease) are also population-specific. However, total fatness, measured by BMI, is insufficiently sensitive as a risk factor and fat distribution (upper-body versus low-body type, as reflected by waist circumference and waist: hip ratio) plays at least as prominent a role. Therefore the detailed norms, not yet available, should take into account both general obesity and fat distribution and be specific for different populations. Since long-term weight loss in adultsis rarely achievable, public health measures should be aggressively directed at the prevention of obesity from childhood. Copyright (C) 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

ASDD Area Sistemi Dipartimentali e Documentali, Università di Bologna, Catalogo delle riviste ed altri periodici
Documento generato il 19/01/20 alle ore 20:21:02