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Blame Gluttony, Not Sloth

Obesity Caused by Calories, Not Inactivity

The widely accepted notion that our modern, sedentary lifestyle is a major cause of obesity may need revising, given studies by Hunter College anthropologists who measured the daily energy expenditure of the Hadza tribe in Tanzania, whose rigorous lifestyle is based on foraging for edible plants and hunting game with bows and arrows, and compared it to that of far less physically active U.S. and European populations. They found that the hunter-gatherers burned no more calories overall than Westerners, and speculate that the Hadzas' bodies compensate for the greater energy burned during food-seeking activities by spending less energy on routine bodily functions and maintenance. Their conclusion: it is greater caloric intake, not reduced activity, that has caused the obesity epidemic.

Comments

Charlie commenter Charlie at 4:33 am on August 29, 2012

"... the Hadzas' bodies compensate for the greater energy burned during food-seeking activities by spending less energy on routine bodily functions and maintenance."

Does this undermine the idea that exercise "revs up" your resting "metabolism" (that poor abused word!), for people who don't have excessive muscle mass, ie beyond what their day-to-day life requires? If it does, that's an interesting news item in itself.

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