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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Fat Retention compared to Fat Storage/Fat Reserves

As we know, some animals store fat for when they need it in the future. This BBC webpage, for instance, tells us that: "Common hibernators are bats, frogs (which hibernate at the bottom of streams or ponds where the water does not freeze), and snakes. Other animals such as badgers and squirrels go into temporary hibernation - staying inside their dens during the very cold days and surviving by living off body fat or a store of food."

So that's Fat Storage. - Fat Reserves, you could say. They are temporary. They are going to get used when the animal is not eating.

And that's certain animals: mainly animals that hibernate, i.e. conserve energy and go to sleep during the winter because there isn't much food around for them to eat in the winter.

Now there's a lot of obesity pundits telling us that obese people store fat in case there's a time in the future when they'll need it. - I believe that that is absolute nonsense. - And here is why:

1. Human beings do not hibernate.

2. The excess fat that humans accumulate is not the special 'brown fat' that hibernating animals store.

3. The excess fat that humans accumulate is not useful; it's a nuisance, a burden. - In fact, I don't think we'd be going far wrong to call it an anomaly - a deviation from what is usually the norm.

I think it's a categorical mistake to call it Fat Storage.

Storage implies purpose - like the purpose of providing a hibernating animal with food when it is unable to feed in the usual way.

So that accumulated excess fat in obese people should more correctly be called
Fat Retention
. - And by Fat Retention I mean that there is no biological purpose to it. - It's not going to 'come in useful' if there's a famine. - It's fat that been retained because the normal physiological mechanism the body uses to get rid of excess fat is not working. - And it's not working because sodium retention/fluid retention has depleted the body of the calcium it needs in order to excrete excess fat (by way of the faeces).

And it hasn't accumulated because the fat person ate a lot of fat. It has accumulated because the person is sensitive to salt.

You can read about Fat Retention here: FAT RETENTION

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