Good News For Couch Potatoes?

The latest news may be good, at least for optimists. Well, maybe not in general, but good news for couch potatoes. You see as we originated from hunter-gatherers, we have a metabolism that harkens back to our roots.

 A large group with Pontzer et al in the current issue of PLoS ONE has made a study of current girth problems and compared our every day energy consumption to that of a regular hunter-gather group. They had to go to Tanzania for their hunter-gathers and chose 30 members of the Hazda. These were compared to US data from 68 people and published Western world stats.

The experimental program got pretty intense with GPS trackers strapped onto the Hazda and breathing analysis carried out with portable system to give accurate measurement of energy consumption. Meta data were available for comparison for almost 5,000 people worldwide.

The results of all these people were compared for the classifications of hunter-gatherer, farmers, and market economy exploiters. After all the necessary statistical juggling went on to give a level playing field, the result for the total energy expenditure per day was remarkably similar amongst all the groups.

This result seems to indicate that the difference in daily exercise is not controlling our growing obesity problem.

So what do we need to ‘Live Long And Prosper’? The authors decide that we in the Western world should eat less. So even hiding the fast food places and having to fetch our own pizzas isn’t the answer; we’re back to the hunger games.


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