the evolution of woman
“Do these genes make me look fat?”

Women are getting shorter and fatter (and not just American women).

Contrary to popular opinion, humans are still evolving says Professor Stephen Stearns, an evolutionary biologist at Yale University. Stearns headed a 60-year study of more than 2,000 women and found that shorter, fatter women who reproduce younger and enter menopause later have more children and pass on those traits. He predicts that by 2409 the average woman will be about an inch shorter, 2 pounds heavier, have her first child 5 months earlier, and enter menopause 10 months later.

However it’s not so much survival of the fattest as it is survival of the most fertile. “You have to realise what we are comparing them to. It’s not as though we’re talking about women who might in any sense be obese. All we’re talking about is the fact that a woman will not ovulate and menstruate unless she has about 20 per cent body fat so that she will have enough fat reserves so that she can nourish her children with enough milk,” explains Stearns.

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