Cultural selection and human food preferences

Ani Bajrami
2019 Journal of Biological Research  
Genes and culture co-evolve to determine variations in dietary habits. Our evolutionary heritage regarding food choice and food preferences is responsible for the mismatch with the food environments we have created, which leads to problems such as overweight and obesity. Several hypotheses have attempted to explain the high rate of obesity present in today's world. The thrifty genotype hypothesis suggested that obesity today is a throwback to our ancestors having undergone positive selection
more » ... sitive selection for genes that favored energy storage. The drifty genotype hypothesis contends that the prevalence of thrifty genes is not a result of positive selection for energy-storage genes but, rather, is attributable to genetic drift resulting from the removal of predatory selection pressures. Both hypotheses focus on environmental changes over time, positive selection and genetic drift. While genetics plays a significant role, we believe that cultural selection is also responsible for the spread of obesogenic phenomena in Albania. The high rates of overweight and obesity among Albanians today can be explained as a mismatch between our evolutionary past and maladaptive behaviors.
doi:10.4081/jbr.2019.7641 fatcat:2s2sjd2r2rfglcdrvoxpparkgq