Throughout the leaner epochs of human history, when food supplies were unreliable, the species would not have survived without a way to hoard calories for later use. That is, without fat. Once a meal has supplied the body’s immediate energy needs, any unused fuel gets converted into long molecules called triglycerides, which are dispatched to fatty tissue where they wait for a signal that the body needs them.
Note: To comment, Science News subscribing members must now establish a separate login relationship with Disqus. Click the Disqus icon below, enter your e-mail and click “forgot password” to reset your password. You may also log into Disqus using Facebook, Twitter or Google.