Sunday, February 2, 2014

First Reader - 2/2/14

While reading Chapter 2 I noticed one common trend: diet is adaptive.  All the food we eat and the diet we have is due to evolution.  We learned to crave the food that is now the norm. One very dangerous thing that became popular and is now included in huge amounts in one’s daily diet is fat.  As the book stated, fats were not a very common food group in our ancestor’s societies. They consumed lean meats and other vegetation. This evolution is apparent in our own bodies seeing as how us humans have no neural function that tell us when we have had our limit of fats. As a result the more abundant that fats became, the more people ate. And as the modern world developed societies began to adapt fats into their diet more and more.  As I read this I began to see how apparent this was in our own society here at the University and it only hit me more as a walked down Green Street Saturday night trying to figure out what to eat. As I ran through all the restaurants in my head seeing where I could find something healthy to eat, I realized that in our community fat is so abundant. From Noodles and Co, to Panda Express and to Chipotle the choice of greasy, fried foods is superb, leaving little to no options for a healthy meal. If our society turned its focus from cheap, fast foods to healthy, nutritious meals the health in our community and possibly even country would be drastically different. However, because of our busy and speedy lifestyle such change is not very likely proving that food choices are adaptive and that social practices determine diets. 


  1. I agree with your statement that diet is adaptive based on social practices and lifestyle. You already mentioned that the increased fat content in foods (especially fast foods) is one of the leading causes of rising obesity rates as well as the busy lifestyle of workers and students. To add to your argument, I think the easier accessibility of food is another factor contributing to the higher obese demographic Accessibility of foods leads to two things when compared to pre-modern eras: lack of exercise and larger portion sizes. In modern human life compared to hunter-gatherer societies humans used to live in (and even in the agricultural stages), a considerably less amount of time is spent when trying to find something to eat. Rather than hunting animals or foraging for food, all it takes now is a quick drive to McDonalds and one can supply almost half their day’s worth of calories for around five dollars. Before, human consumption of food was limited to how tired they were and what they could find. Although the former is still true to some degree (how willing they are to drive five miles to the grocery store), the latter has been replaced by monetary cost of food. However with the prominence of cheap fast food and large department stores like Wal-mart and Costco, larger amounts of food and portion sizes can be obtained.

  2. Respondent:

    Well said, I certainly agree with the majority of the points you make. Fats were enormously incorporated into Western diets as a result of the power of convenience and mass production of easy-to-make or ready-to-go foods. It's very true that everywhere we look, processed foods are literally everywhere and very tempting. Eating healthy seems to be a secondary value for many of us in the country as a result of the insane availability of such terrible foods. I do not agree, however, that all the food we eat and the diets we have are due to evolution. I would say such is a result of a mixture of factors, such as socioeconomic, cultural, and religious ones (i.e. certain religions prohibit certain foods). Our tastes may have evolved as a result of the way we were raised, but I don't believe we have evolved to crave fatty and unhealthy foods. That's really my only critique here!

  3. I don't really agree that our diet is due to evolution, more of a product of our society and culture. To some extent we have a predisposition to sugary foods, but that really hasn't changed that much n. I think now a days, our diet is limited by both our availability, financial status, and what is acceptable to consume by our own culture. We tend to only eat what we can afford and obtain rather easily, and prefer food, like Jacob said, that we grew up on.