An anthropological perspective on obesity

Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences Vol/Iss. 499(1) Blackwell Published In Pages: 29-46
By Brown, Peter J., Konner, Melvin


The authors implement an anthropological approach to explore the evolutionary and cultural explanations of modern obesity. Three widely accepted facts are considered: (1) gender dimorphism (women having higher levels of fat), (2) increase of obesity with modernization, and (3) a positive association between obesity and socioeconomic status. Using theory, cross-cultural research, and case studies, the authors hypothesize how obesity may have been selected for (or not selected against) in an evolutionary context considering both biological and social factors.


While no hypotheses are directly tested, important descriptive generalizations are examined and proposed.

Documents and Hypotheses Filed By:emily.pitek noah.rossen