Modern Medicine

What is the "thrifty gene"?
Answered by Discovery Fit & Health
  • Discovery Fit & Health

    Discovery Fit & Health

  1. Human ancestors lived through times of feast and famine. Some researchers believe that early humans possessed a "thrifty gene," which would have enabled them to store up fat during food shortages. Since those with the ability to live off stored fat were most likely to survive famines, they were also more likely to procreate and pass the thrifty gene along. In the modern, developed world, however, we rarely face serious food shortages, which means the thrifty gene is no longer useful. Those who still possess it may face struggles with their weight. Even if they exercise and eat a healthy diet, their bodies may store the fat as if in a famine.

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