The Evolution of Obesity – Metabolic Problems Example

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"The Evolution of Obesity"  is a great example of a paper on metabolic problems. Obesity is a medical condition in which there is an overwhelming deposition of fats in the body than they are utilized, this is occasioned mostly by the lifestyle nature of individuals (Powe and Schulkin 231). Obesity can be realized by the calculation of the Body Mass Index (BMI). In the calculation, one is said to be obese if he/she has a BMI ranging between 30.0-34.9 (Powe and Schulkin 234).                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             According to the graph, it is shown that people in stressful situations will tend to eat foods that are rich in sugar, fats and this ultimately causes an increase of insulin and glucocorticoids concentrations in the body (Powe and Schulkin 245).

The essence of having mare insulin in the body is for the conversion of the excess glucose in the body to glycogen that is stored in the adipose tissue in the body. Without the presence of insulin, the level of glucose in the body would rise and can lead to the development of diabetes type II.

The increased consumption of these foods during stressful moments is more therapeutic and medicinal value than just for nutritional value (Powe and Schulkin 246). Individuals consume these foods to bring about the sense of feeling good.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Power and Schulkin try to relate the physiological functions of the body to homeostasis. Homeostasis involves the natural balancing of various body hormones and ions such that the optimum is always maintained to allow the body to carry out critical roles without any fault (Powe and Schulkin 248). Physiology on the other side involves the operation of the cells that constitute organs such that life is maintained without cell deaths.

Some of the physiological processes of the body include catabolism, anabolism, and respiration either aerobic or anaerobic. With the hormones from the endocrine system, the body fuel metabolism can be altered leading to varying levels of glucose of fats in the body (Powe and Schulkin 250).                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           During feeding according to Power and Schulkin, there are three stages involved. The first being foraging, this activates the sensory organs of the body through sight to trigger the production of various hormones that are responsible for the digestion of the substrates (Powe and Schulkin 249).

What follows is the ingestion and digestion, here the food is broken down into smaller particles that can be acted upon by the enzymes, the breakdown also creates a large surface area for the actions by the body enzymes to take place. Lastly, the digested food particles are absorbed into the body for the provision of energy to the cells through metabolism (Powe and Schulkin 250).                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     In figure 12.1, there is a comparison between men and women who are normal and obese.

The interest is to compare their BMI and the location of where fats are deposited. The results of the figure show that in either normal or obese situation, women have more fat deposits than men do (Powe and Schulkin 261). Again, the site for the deposition of these fats differs from gender, in women the fats storage is skewed to the thighs and the buttocks unlike in men where they are located around the abdomen. This situation makes men be more vulnerable in developing abdominal adiposity (Powe and Schulkin 263).

The accumulation of abdominal fats also accelerates the acquisition of chronic diseases characterized by inappropriate functioning of cortical production and metabolism. Abdominal adiposity can also lead to the increased production of visceral fats that predispose one to Cushing’ s syndrome (Powe and Schulkin 263). Finally, the figure also shows that men are efficient in uptake and release of fatty acids than women.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         There is a wide disparity in the fat components of a human and a rabbit neonate.

In humans, it is 13.5 and 3.25 in the rabbit-a difference of 10.25. The disparity is explained by the fact that human beings have a larger brain compared to that of the rabbit thus the extra fats in human is used to support the neonatal brain metabolism that accounts of about 50% of the total fats in the body (Powe and Schulkin 267). The fats are also useful in the postnatal growth of the brain and subsequent development. The brains of the species with the genus homo undergo extensive growth in the postnatal stage and this growth can only be sustained with the energy from the adipose tissue that has the extra fat storage (Powe and Schulkin 267).                                                                                                                                                               The neonates also experience lower immune protection as they do not have a fully developed immune system that can successfully mount a proper defense against the pathogens.

Both the innate and acquired immunity is weak and underdeveloped to provide the resistance needed to keep them at bay from contacting the diseases (Powe and Schulkin 265). The vulnerability of the neonates comes because they are not exposed to most antigens that would trigger an immunological response by the body to produce the complementary antibodies (Powe and Schulkin 266).

The presence of fats in the adipose tissue provides protection in neonates; it temporarily plays the role of the immune system before the neonates can develop their own functioning immune system. The fats in the adipose tissue will ensure that the diseases are avoided thus feeding and digestion will not be altered as the case would be with the disease attack. It is also important to know that with the occurrence of central obesity, one chance of developing medical conditions like diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, and dyslipidemia increases (Powe and Schulkin 268).

Lower adiposity also compromises the ability of the body to effective metabolism (Powe and Schulkin 269).


Powe, Michael L. and Jay, Schulkin R. The Evolution of Obesity. Baltimore: JHU Press, 2009. Print.
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