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Appetite. 2006 Jul;47(1):3-9. Epub 2006 Jun 27.

Evolutionary and anthropological perspectives on optimal foraging in obesogenic environments.

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  • 1Women's Research Center and Department of Anthropology, University of Central Florida, Orlando, 32826-3252, USA.


The nutrition transition has created an obesogenic environment resulting in a growing obesity pandemic. An optimal foraging approach provides cost/benefit models of cognitive, behavioral and physiological strategies that illuminate the causes of caloric surfeit and consequent obesity in current environments of abundant food cues; easy-access and reliable food patches; low processing costs and enormous variety of energy-dense foods. Experimental and naturalistic observations demonstrate that obesogenic environments capitalize on human proclivities by displaying colorful advertising, supersizing meals, providing abundant variety, increasing convenience, and utilizing distractions that impede monitoring of food portions during consumption. The globalization of fast foods propels these trends.

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