Friday, October 14, 2016

Obese Thoughts

The conflict over whether to cut sugar or cut fat may become more clear if we control for the patterns of eating that provide cues which in the environment of evolutionary adaptation reliably predicted famine.

Here is some of my current amateurish thinking on obesity. Largely this is just an expression of the idea of the thrifty gene but perhaps more in the context of adaptationist thinking. Someone has probably already said these things.

Organisms are adaptation executioners. Genes have been selected upon to respond to cues of information about the environment of whatever the current replication-vehicle host is and to express accordingly. Famine cues include the number and intensity of hypoglycemic events. If famine cues are sufficient, a famine adaptation response might be triggered. Once triggered it is likely active for the rest of that gene-host's lifespan. (Here skipping some possible one-generation carry forward epigenetics discussion here through plasms of eggs and sperms in the host body.) If the famine adaptation response is not activated and there are sufficient fat stores then in times of low blood sugar burn those stores. Alternatively, if the famine adaptation response is activated then in times of hunger lower the metabolism rate and increase food-seeking behaviors ('hunger', 'appetite'.) Note that ingested fat generally burns slowly allowing a steady supply of energy, and low fat diets allow for more and for greater sugar-carb roller-coaster hypoglycemic crashes. One way to test this idea might be to compare populations for the amount of consumption of non-fat and low-fat milk, and perhaps butter too, in terms of subsequent development of obesity.

(Does some quick searching ... )

Of course there's a long history on whether non-fat milk is good, but in any case --

This study looking at dairy consumption and obesity got a lot of publicity back around April of this year. .. Paywalled.

The Time magazine article that discusses it some: ..

1 comment:

  1. In some future studies it would be nice to control for effects of butyrate. Dairy fat is high in butyrate. (Presumably as infants have underdeveloped microbiota which usually produce butyrate along with other short chain fatty acids.) ..