As a genus, humans, from Homo sapiens (that’s us) to our extinct ancestors Homo neanderthalensis and Homo erectus, are wanderers. Over the vast majority of our history, which spans hundreds of thousands of years, we have roved from place to place, inhabiting a wide range of habitats. We moved with the seasons, we moved to find food, we moved — perhaps — just to move. Our adaptability was our key adaptation, an evolutionary leg-up on the competition. The ability to store fat was vital to this lifestyle. Body fat cushions internal organs, but it also serves as a repository of energy that can be readily broken down and used to power muscles. Humans might fatten up at one environment, then move on to another. When food was scarce, we could count on our fat to sustain us, at least temporarily.
Chimpanzees, on the other hand, are localized to specific environments where food is often plentiful, primarily the forests of West and Central Africa. Fatty stores of energy aren’t required, but strength to climb food-bearing trees is. Natural selection favored brawn, causing chimps to shed fat as unnecessary weight.
Interestingly, this may have hindered chimpanzees’ brain development. Human brains are about three times larger than chimp brains, and this may be because we exchanged muscle for fat. Muscles and brains are metabolically expensive, requiring gobs of energy to function. With less muscle and more fat, humans had more energy to dedicate to brains.
In other words, fat is good but as with all good things overdoing it isn’t , which leads us to the question what is overdoing it. As i see it, fashion dicatates nowadays a bodyfat percentage way below what’s healthy for us. Having a ‘sixpack’ might satisfy current esthetics but isn’t a sign of good health. People with a higher bodyfat percentage have less risk of diseases, recover more easily from disease/medical interventions and are overall more robust.
Less Fat, less healthy