Catalogue


The evolutionary biology of human body fatness : thrift and control /
Jonathan C.K. Wells.
imprint
Cambridge, UK ; New York : Cambridge University Press, c2010.
description
xi, 382 p. : ill.
ISBN
9780521884204 (hardback)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Cambridge, UK ; New York : Cambridge University Press, c2010.
isbn
9780521884204 (hardback)
contents note
Machine generated contents note: 1. Introduction; 2. Human fatness in broad context; 3. The proximate causes of fat deposition; 4. The ontogenetic development of adiposity; 5. The life-course induction of adiposity; 6. The fitness value of fat; 7. The evolutionary biology of adipose tissue; 8. Adiposity in hominid evolution; 9. Adiposity in human evolution; 10. The evolution of obesity.
abstract
"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"--Provided by publisher.
catalogue key
7082794
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Jonathan C. K. Wells is a Reader in Paediatric Nutrition at the University College London (UCL) Institute of Child Health. He conducts research on paediatric energetics and body composition, using anthropological and evolutionary approaches to inform biological understanding.
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2010-08-01:
A visitor to a library who casually finds this volume on the shelf might be attracted by the title and the front cover illustration. Additionally, the book's general topic might attract people interested in the human condition, given the current focus on childhood obesity. Many of these casual browsers would likely be put off by the author's statement in the introductory chapter: "This book is intended neither to focus on obesity, nor to address the detailed biology of lipids or adipose tissue." It is in fact a scholarly research volume, designed to follow the history of human fat deposition from anthropological and physiological directions. The book is rich with text and data. Indeed, all of the 15 tables and most of the 89 figures are representations of data regarding accumulation and mobilization of fat. Though the work is not an easy read, Wells (pediatric nutrition, Univ. College London, UK) has facilitated understanding by providing chapter subunit summaries, and a general summary at the end of each chapter. The author makes references to the research literature throughout the text, and appends a reference list of over 1,000 entries. A 20-page topic index will assist readers in locating particular items of interest. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Scholars of human evolution, graduate students and above. L. A. Meserve Bowling Green State University
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, August 2010
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Summaries
Main Description
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.
Description for Bookstore
Timely analysis of medical and evolutionary data to address the role body fat has played in human biology, including in the current obesity epidemic. Obesity researchers from human biologists and anthropologists to health professionals will benefit from this comprehensive evolutionary approach to examining human body composition.
Bowker Data Service Summary
This comprehensive synthesis of 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.
Table of Contents
Prefacep. ix
Introductionp. 1
Human fatness in broad contextp. 16
Proximate causes of lipid deposition and oxidationp. 49
The ontogenetic development of adiposityp. 92
The life-course induction of adiposityp. 118
The fitness value of fatp. 153
The evolutionary biology of adipose tissuep. 195
Adiposity in hominin evolutionp. 215
Adiposity in human evolutionp. 244
The evolution of human obesityp. 270
Referencesp. 302
Indexp. 363
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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