In an effort to develop a better experimental model for obesity than mice, scientists have turned to monkeys and other primates. The emerging observations are eerily reminiscent of what you and I witness just by going to the local grocery store or fast food outlet
"'It wasn’t until we added those carbs that we got all those other changes, including those changes in body fat,' said Anthony G. Comuzzie, who helped create an obese baboon colony at the Southwest National Primate Research Center in San Antonio."
"Fat Albert, one of her monkeys who she said was at one time the world’s heaviest rhesus, at 70 pounds, ate “nothing but American Heart Association-recommended diet,” she said."
Yes, indeed: The American Heart Association diet makes monkeys fat. Extrapolate this a little higher on the evolutionary ladder and guess what?
This is one of the many reasons why, when I have a patient who is counseled by the hospital dietitian on the American Heart Association diet, I advise them to 1) ignore everything the dietitian told them, and then 2) follow the wheat-free, cornstarch-free, sugar-free, whole food diet I advocate.
Not unexpectedly, much of this primate research is not being devoted to just manipulating diet to achieve weight loss and health, but to develop new drugs to "treat" obesity.