PhilSci Archive

From Obesity to Energy Metabolism: Ontological Perspectives on the Metrics of Human Bodies

Serpico, Davide and Borghini, Andrea (2020) From Obesity to Energy Metabolism: Ontological Perspectives on the Metrics of Human Bodies. Topoi. ISSN 1572-8749

[img]
Preview
Text
Serpico & Borghini 2020 - Topoi_Pre-print.pdf - Accepted Version

Download (736kB) | Preview

Abstract

In this paper, we aim at rethinking the concept of obesity in a way that better captures the connection between underlying medical aspects, on the one hand, and an individual’s developmental history, on the other. Our proposal rests on the idea that obesity is not to be understood as a phenotypic trait or character; rather, obesity represents one of the many possible states of a more complex phenotypic trait that we call ‘energy metabolism.’ We argue that this apparently simple conceptual shift can help solve important theoretical misconceptions regarding the genetics, epigenetics, and development of obesity. In addition, we show that our proposal can be fruitfully paired with the concept of developmental channeling of a trait, which connects to the study of the plasticity and canalization of complex traits. Finally, we discuss the potential impact of our approach on the assessment, treatment, and social narratives of obesity.


Export/Citation: EndNote | BibTeX | Dublin Core | ASCII/Text Citation (Chicago) | HTML Citation | OpenURL
Social Networking:
Share |

Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Serpico, Davide0000-0003-3997-3056
Borghini, Andrea0000-0002-2239-1482
Keywords: Obesity; Genetics of obesity; Epigenetics of obesity; Definition of obesity; Developmental canalization; Obesity and public health
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology > Developmental Biology
Specific Sciences > Biology > Molecular Biology/Genetics
General Issues > Ethical Issues
Specific Sciences > Medicine > Health and Disease
Specific Sciences > Medicine
Depositing User: Dr. Davide Serpico
Date Deposited: 29 Sep 2020 13:32
Last Modified: 29 Sep 2020 13:32
Item ID: 18173
Journal or Publication Title: Topoi
Publisher: Spirnger
DOI or Unique Handle: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11245-020-09722-1
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology > Developmental Biology
Specific Sciences > Biology > Molecular Biology/Genetics
General Issues > Ethical Issues
Specific Sciences > Medicine > Health and Disease
Specific Sciences > Medicine
Date: September 2020
ISSN: 1572-8749
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/18173

Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Monthly Downloads for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Altmetric.com

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item