July 26, 2012
Ancient Hunters Didn't Burn More Calories, They Ate Better
By Chad Love
It's long been assumed that our sedentary, technology saturated, modern lifestyle is the primary reason so much of the industrialized world is fat. Well, you know what they say about assuming things. As it turns out, humans burn about the same number of calories if they're running down gazelles on the African plains, perched in a deer stand, or making sure they have the proper cover sheets on those TPS reports...
From this press release on sciencedaily.com:
Modern lifestyles are generally quite different from those of our hunter-gatherer ancestors, a fact that some claim as the cause of the current rise in global obesity, but new results published July 25 in the open access journal PLoS ONE find that there is no difference between the energy expenditure of modern hunter-gatherers and Westerners, casting doubt on this theory.
The research team behind the study, led by Herman Pontzer of Hunter College in New York City, along with David Raichlen of the University of Arizona and Brian M. Wood of Stanford measured daily energy expenditure (calories per day) among the Hadza, a population of traditional hunter-gatherers living in the open savannah of northern Tanzania. Despite spending their days trekking long distances to forage for wild plants and game, the Hadza burned no more calories each day than adults in the U.S. and Europe.
According to the story, the findings that both African hunter/gatherers and Office Space drones have about the same metabolic rate completely upends the view that western obesity rates are caused by lack of activity. The real culprit? Too much food, and of that, too much processed food. Thoughts? Reaction?