Eating's evolution

Ever wonder:

Why anorexia makes sense

Listen to this short radio segment that features Dr. Shan Guisinger's evolutionary biology description for anorexia.

Thank you, C, for this link - I had missed it!


  1. Very interesting. Although the "social pressure" explanation for why anorexia wasn't a problem in hunter-gatherer societies seems a little dubious. I would imagine that yes, it was a problem back then, for maybe 1% of the population. Many genetic traits are useful, until taken to the extreme. Inherit one copy of a gene and you gain resistance to cholera, two copies and you get cystic fibrosis. One copy of another gene makes you resistant to malaria, two copies give you sickle-cell anemia. Maybe some genes make one resistant in starvation conditions; too many of them and someone self-starves to death.

    Perhaps historically, people have benefited from "a little anorexia".


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