Scientists have decided that so much of the human world is becoming fat that this represents a kind of evolution, which can be compared to the basic change in our species that took place 200 years ago which Europeans all became taller, due to improved diets. But while taller people who eat better are healthier, this new evolutionary shift toward obesity makes us less healthy than before. Diabetes and heart problems may become a permanent part of our future as human beings.
"I'm talking about the remarkable change that has occurred in man's evolution in just the twinkling of an eyelid," says researcher Andrew Prentice. "It's now quite a normal biological response for people to become obese and it means a massive increase in obesity in a way we had a big change in height 200 years ago."
In many nations, 20% of the population is obese and half the population is overweight. In the future, parents are likely to outlive their fat children. "What usually happens with evolution is that it's an imperceptibly slow process, an organism can change to meet small changes in its niche,? says Prentice. ?What's happening now is that we've changed the environment that we live in in an incredibly short time?one generation or perhaps two generations at most, and this has challenged our ancient metabolism, which for thousands of generations has been geared to fighting famine." This means that obesity is not entirely our fault?our bodies were designed to survive famines by storing up extra food in times of plenty. The ?problem? for those of us in the developed world is that we have no more famines.
Prentice, an expert on nutrition from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, says obesity is made worse by sedentary lifestyles brought on by television, computers and labor-saving machines. He thinks the current generation will suffer from mild ailments such as breathlessness and varicose veins, as well as serious conditions such as diabetes and cancer. "We are at a fascinating time in human evolution,? he says. ?The increase in height 200 years ago stayed with us and now we're increasing in girth and that is going to stay with us as well."
What strange beings have evolved in this world that we may not be aware of? Find out from cryptozoologist Loren Coleman in ?The Mothman and Other Mysterious Encounters?,click here.
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