On Sat, Jun 18, 2011 at 03:04:19PM -0400, Rex Allen wrote:
> For instance, food. Most people really like sweets and salty greasy foods.
> Much more than they like bland vegetables and whatnot.
> The acquisition of junk food makes us happy *because* those things were hard
> to acquire a few hundred years ago...and if you're living in resource-poor
> circumstances, then calories and salt are just what the doctor ordered.
> BUT...we're now out of equilibrium. Junk food is at least as easy to get as
> vegetables, if not easier. So our evolved preferences push us to consume
> more than is good for us.
> Given time, and if we allowed heart disease and diabetes to do their work,
> the human race would eventually lose their taste for such unhealthy fare, as
> those with genetic tendencies in that direction died off. Anticipating a
> greasy meal of pizza and consuming it would no longer make us as happy.
> Because that happiness is too easily satisfied to provide the optimal level
> of motivation.

Evolution won't help here - these diseases cause death after one's
reproductive years, direct selection on dietary preference will not
occur. There is an indirect effect by not being grandparents for your
kids, but so long as some of the grandparents are around, this would
effectively be nullified.



Prof Russell Standish                  Phone 0425 253119 (mobile)
Principal, High Performance Coders
Visiting Professor of Mathematics      hpco...@hpcoders.com.au
University of New South Wales          http://www.hpcoders.com.au

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