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Could obesity be caused by unconscious fear of famine? Watch

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    My reasoning is that if there was a famine the fattest person would live the longest. Therefore natural selection should favour those who prepare for famine at the right time, possibly giving us a fear of it.

    Now I assume this to be true, but I now wonder; what causes unconscious fear of famine? Possibly the feeling of lack of control over how you acquire your resources (which is very common unless you're very good at your job and your boss loves you).

    So if you are able to make a fat/obese person feel more in control of their resources I think they would lose weight. As an idealised scenario; give someone enough money to live for the rest of their life and they should lose weight. Or let them determine their own pay-rate and they should lose weight. Or give them everything that is needed to survive, and they should lose weight.

    Opinions? If you're fat/obese please let me know what you think is the mental cause of it.
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    It's caused by shovelling too much food in your mouth and not doing enough exercise. These people can't comprehend fruit, let alone the concept of famine or apocalypse.
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    No it's caused primarily by the addiction to the sugar and I don't understand why the **** our government doesn't get an actual grip on the issue and stop allowing products with obscene amounts of sugar in them to be sold.
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    Maybe the obese person will suffer from hypoglycemia when there is a famine and eventually die before many others...
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    Nah it's caused by hamplanets not knowing when to stop despite overwhelming amount of TV ads/Billboards all saying "pls stop"
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    (Original post by Inexorably)
    No it's caused primarily by the addiction to the sugar and I don't understand why the **** our government doesn't get an actual grip on the issue and stop allowing products with obscene amounts of sugar in them to be sold.
    If I'm honest I don't think it's the addiction to sugar. I think it's just that people eat for the sake of eating, if they're bored it's something to do, or if they're down it's a distraction.

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    Scientifically, this argument doesnt make sense, the initial statement oculd be argued as a basis for natural selection but becoming obese makes you much more prone to heart problems and health issues and so would be selected against. The clue is in the title " survival of the fittest" and fear of famine is too much of a niche thing to adapt to, to cause the current obesity epidemic
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    (Original post by Andy98)
    If I'm honest I don't think it's the addiction to sugar. I think it's just that people eat for the sake of eating, if they're bored it's something to do, or if they're down it's a distraction.

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    I agree with that also, and office workers are especially suceptible to this, but the effects of sugar addiction are really quite disastrous.

    Though of course obesity is going to be down to a wide number of reasons ultimately.
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    In some less developed countries, obesity is seen as desirable because it means you have enough money to feed yourself. But if we are talking about the West where's famine is non-existent, obesity is caused by poor eating habits.
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    (Original post by Inexorably)
    I agree with that also, and office workers are especially suceptible to this, but the effects of sugar addiction are really quite disastrous.

    Though of course obesity is going to be down to a wide number of reasons ultimately.
    Alcohol is a big one as well

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    (Original post by Mistletoe)
    My reasoning is that if there was a famine the fattest person would live the longest. Therefore natural selection should favour those who prepare for famine at the right time, possibly giving us a fear of it.

    Now I assume this to be true, but I now wonder; what causes unconscious fear of famine? Possibly the feeling of lack of control over how you acquire your resources (which is very common unless you're very good at your job and your boss loves you).

    So if you are able to make a fat/obese person feel more in control of their resources I think they would lose weight. As an idealised scenario; give someone enough money to live for the rest of their life and they should lose weight. Or let them determine their own pay-rate and they should lose weight. Or give them everything that is needed to survive, and they should lose weight.

    Opinions? If you're fat/obese please let me know what you think is the mental cause of it.
    There are a lot of different causes behind obesity. I think you may be onto something when you talk about people feeling in control being a factor- I think that in some cases people can overindulge or not eat the "right things" because their diet is something they can control and they want to eat the things that bring them comfort. I'm not sure how much a fear of famine would come into it, but it certainly could be the case for at least some people.

    Honestly I don't think may people would have that sort of complex thought process- especially subconsciously- to decide to eat more so they have more reserves. Besides, at the end of the day having more weight to you is not going to give you much of an upper hand in surviving famine and there are more likely risks to health that come from obesity so it's not that logical to pick the unlikely scenario to protect against. The unconscious desire for control seems far more plausible than fear of famine to me, that's not to say it couldn't be the case for some people though.

    I also think that a lack of understanding of or access to healthier options is a potential factor. Being overweight isn't just down to how much you eat, but also what you eat and some people have constraints due to money, time, knowledge or other reasons and do not necessarily have much of a chance to pick the healthier options.
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    If there was a famine, the fattest person would be the first to be killed and eaten by the others so being fat is bad for survival.
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    To some extent it is caused by that. Not subconscious so much as hardwired. Food security, still not universally enjoyed, arrived within the last several generations, the corpulent poor first appearing in the US in the 1950s. Our physiologies don't adapt as fast as all that.
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    We are fatter than at any point in our history but the risk of famine is as low as it has ever been.

    Humans haven't evolved to fluctuate in weight like some other animals. As far as I know there is no evidence, historically, that humans got obese, say in the summer, then used those fat stores in the winter. We have always been smart enough to just save food for the winter instead. Obesity was extremely rare before sugar came on the scene.
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    I believe there is room to think that people may have an *unconscious* need to provide security or comfort through overeating, and I also think that the provision of extra resources as suggested by Mistletoe might be part of the answer.

    However, not resources in the form of extra money etc!

    Assuming that this is a sub-conscious need implies internal processes at work which may once have evolved in that individual for very straight forward reasons. For example, there may once have been a real and reasonable fear that security or comfort may be being threatened. Family strife or breakdown where children are involved can reasonably be expected to ignite such fears in those young children, though they may not yet be equipped to describe this. The problem might then arise that when, over time, the threatening environment is removed or resolved, the protective or defensive processes remain within the individual and become dysfunctional, leading to, amongst other things, over-eating. I'd respectfully suggest that the extra resources required would be assistance to feel part-of, to not feel rejected and help to understand that it is that person's psychological needs that are needed to be met, not necessarily the physiological.
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    (Original post by Andy98)
    If I'm honest I don't think it's the addiction to sugar. I think it's just that people eat for the sake of eating, if they're bored it's something to do, or if they're down it's a distraction.

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    That is so me. I'm lucky in this case I'm one of those people who eats a lot but is still slim 🤷🏾 Maybe it will catch up to me one day 🤔
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    (Original post by glad-he-ate-her)
    The clue is in the title " survival of the fittest"
    the fit in survival of the fittest is the fit of 'this sweater doesn't fit', not the fit of 'keep fit'.
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    (Original post by Aztec Chic)
    That is so me. I'm lucky in this case I'm one of those people who eats a lot but is still slim 🤷🏾 Maybe it will catch up to me one day 🤔
    If you eat just for the sake of eating, you shouldn't have much trouble losing the weight if you put it on.

    I was like you. Growing up, I didn't put on weight so just ate whatever I wanted and didn't even think about what I was eating. Then I got fat in my early 20s because I continued to eat anything. It was easy for me to lose it because I don't have any kind of food addiction so it was just a case of eating loads less and letting the weight come off. I can take or leave any food so it was just a case of being aware of what I was eating and leaving it for the most part.

    It's not that easy for some people though. Some people crave chocolate, for example, they simply can't resist the urge to eat food.
    To say "eat less food" to them is like saying it to a drug addict. Obesity is all in the mind.
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    (Original post by Aztec Chic)
    That is so me. I'm lucky in this case I'm one of those people who eats a lot but is still slim 🤷🏾 Maybe it will catch up to me one day 🤔
    Same haha

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    (Original post by cambio wechsel)
    the fit in survival of the fittest is the fit of 'this sweater doesn't fit', not the fit of 'keep fit'.
    Oh I'm aware, it was something of a joke and and a relevant statement
 
 
 
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