Why are we genetically predisposed to like fatty and sugary foods?

February 21st, 2012

Stupid evolution:

For the past 200,000 years or so, fatty and sugary foods were hard for humans to come by and well worth gorging on. Fats help maintain body temperature, sugars provide energy, and craving such food is hardwired: Eating fats and sugars activates reward centers in the brain.


Evolution is a messy process that plays out over millions of years. It typically lags far behind changes in species behavior. Until about 50 years ago, craving fats and sugars actually helped us survive. Then fast food became abundant, and the number of obese people in the U.S. tripled between 1960 and 2007. Half a century is “just not enough time to counteract millennia,” says Katie Hinde, a human evolutionary biologist at Harvard University.

 I don’t like fatty and sugary foods. I just don’t like the taste. I used to. But I grew out of it. I have a somewhat bizarre eating schedule. I eat about 4 pounds of fruit a day. Not because I try to be healthy, but I like fruit. I also eat lots of salads from Trader Joe’s; not to be healthy, but because I like them.