This comprehensive synthesis of current medical and evolutionary literature addresses key questions about the role body fat plays in human biology. It explores how body energy stores are regulated, how they develop over the life-course, what biological functions they serve, and how they may have evolved. There is now substantial evidence that human adiposity is not merely a buffer against the threat of starvation, but is also a resource for meeting the energy costs of growth, reproduction and immune function. As such it may be considered as important in our species evolution as other traits such as bipedalism, large brains, and long life spans and developmental periods. Indeed, adiposity is integrally linked with these other traits, and with our capacity to colonise and inhabit diverse ecosystems. It is because human metabolism is so sensitive to environmental cues that manipulative economic forces are now generating the current obesity epidemic.
Author: Jonathan C. K. Wells Publisher: Cambridge University Press Published: 11/26/2009 Pages: 394 Binding Type: Hardcover Weight: 1.65lbs Size: 9.10h x 6.10w x 0.90d ISBN: 9780521884204
Review Citation(s): Choice 08/01/2010
About the Author Wells, Jonathan C. K.: - Jonathan C. K. Wells is a Reader in Pediatric Nutrition at the University College London (UCL) Institute of Child Health. He conducts research on pediatric energetics and body composition, using anthropological and evolutionary approaches to inform biological understanding.