evolutionary psychology and eating disorders

today: a dose of evolutionary psychology. theories on

… the development of overeating:

imagine when we were a species of primates in the open savannah. there were no mcdonald’s around. and there were no other fast foods, no ease of availability of foods. so we evolved, by natural selection, a tendency to eat whatever contained proteins or sugars that happened to be available as much as possible. that instinct is still with us.


some researchers posit that anorexia is an adaptation gone awry. thousands of years ago, our ancestors were a nomadic people who relied on gathering to eat. in times of famine, people who could go for a long time without eating had a higher likelihood of continuing on and finding a new food source.

the ability to feel satiated when not eating was once an advantageous adaptation. therefore, individuals with a genetic tendency towards anorexia feel sated and unfazed by starvation. a few weeks ago, someone made a forum post about how she did not see how anorexia could be chosen by natural selection.

but it actually does make sense”that the ability to go for long periods of time without eating and remain full of energy is advantageous. unfortunately, it is fairly impossible to prove this theory because you cannot really experiment on evolutionary psychology. but the theory does point towards a biological susceptibility to anorexia.

… and why slim people hate overweight people:

from the taunting of the chubby child in the playground to cruel jibes at fat people in work and social settings, few could doubt there is widespread prejudice against the overweight. however, according to research reported in evolution and human behavior some people suffer abuse because being too fat is mistaken by the brain for a sign of disease.

isabella mori
counselling in vancouver

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