Friday, August 14, 2009

Why do Gamers get Fat?

I just finished reading an extremely interesting article about a type of fat that actually makes you thinner and how some people don't have any. They say it could be a factor in obesity. Reading it made me think. The reason our bodies produce fat is so that we can go for periods of time without eating. Its an evolutionary survival mechanism found throughout the mammalian world. The idea behind it is if you are in the wild and have no food available, your body will burn fat from your fat stores for energy. This sounds fine, well and good on paper, and works wonders for animals in the wild. The problem is that every health and fitness expert in the world will tell you that starvation diets make you fatter because your body will steal from your muscles before it looks to your fat stores. Meaning you don't lose fat very easily and once you start eating again your body puts everything into fat stores because now it thinks its going to need it for later.

This makes absolutely no sense to me. If I was in the wild and needed to find food to survive, the last thing that is going to help me last till my next meal is stealing from my muscles. I need those to hunt / search for food with. What good is lasting until I find a meal if I'm so weak that I can't catch it? It just seems evolutionarily backwards. Why would we evolve a survival mechanism that doesn't help us survive? I suppose the fact that humans are one of the only land based mammals to have our fat deposits as a layer under our skin may have something to do with it. Most animals store fat inside their bodies around their organs. We have a blubber-like layer under our epidermis like whales do. Why? Nobody knows.

Now, I can't speak for all gamers, but when I really get into a game I forget about bodily needs and functions. I have gone as many as 9 hours without eating, drinking or... excreting without realizing how much time has gone by. I can remember entire weeks going by with almost no food, eating maybe only twice in 24 hours when truly EPIC games came out. And I'm not even a REALLY hardcore gamer. I'm sure there are those who have done far, far worse. Surviving on energy drinks, candy bars and chips for extended periods of time without sleep. Need I remind us all of the rare game related death stories?

My point is, if our bodies worked the way evolution intended them too, gamers should look like Greek gods / goddesses, including the pasty marble complexion (lol) but minus some of the musculature. Granted, we wouldn't be buff, but we would be lean. Why doesn't it work that way? If scientists could work out a way to make our bodies feed off our fat instead of our muscles first, the obesity epidemic would be cured.

1 comment:

RetroPengo said...

Try 36 hours of no-bodily functions some time. :P

Talk about pain. owie.