Obese monkeys get a food fence

Obese monkeys get a food fence

The human body has a natural system in place that helps prolong life when food becomes dangerously scarce.

In times of food plenty, the body stores excess calories as fat. Then, in times of scarcity, fat is converted into energy. This is a beautiful survival mechanism, but it doesn’t adjust for a life lived in perpetual plenty.

The result: A society that produces a steady stream of plenty becomes an overweight society – especially when much of that plenty consists of nutritionally empty convenience food. Then take daily physical labor out of the picture, and eventually folks start getting wider and heavier.

This “plenty” problem seems to be having a similar effect on a group of rhesus monkeys in Osaka, Japan’s Ohama Park.

Reuters reports that park officials, alarmed at the monkeys’ out-of-control obesity, have cut the feed for each animal from 22 pounds per day to just 4.4 pounds. Officials also plan to build a fence to discourage park visitors from throwing food to the monkeys.

A fence. If only we could build an actual fence that would discourage food producers from throwing excess processed food in our paths everywhere we go. Sure, we’ve always got willpower, but I think an actual fence might help the cause considerably.

“Weight Issues” Reuters, 5/12/08, telegraph.co.uk