Tuesday, November 13, 2012

It's Really Not About How Active You Are

We seem to think that our sedentary lifestyle contributes to ever increasing levels of obesity. There is however, growing evidence that if we want to decrease our obesity rates we will need to focus more on our diet and eat less. Especially the sweet, sugary stuff we love.

Researcher Herman Pontzer and his colleagues measured daily expenditure among the Hadza people in Tanzania whose way of living are still the traditional hunter-gatherers. Their published findings suggest that inactivity is NOT the source of modern obesity. This suggests that energy expenditure is consistent across a broad range of cultures & lifestyles. Of course if we exercise and push our bodies hard enough, we can definitely increase our energy expenditure.

We're getting fatter because we eat too much, not because we're too sedentary.

But of course for those of us who are then thinking of not exercising, also bear in mind that physical activity is very, very important for maintaining our physical & mental health.


Pontzer H, Raichlen DA et al (2012). Hunter-Gatherer Energetics and Human Obesity. pLos ONE 7(7) : e40503. doi : 10.1371/journal.pone.0040503.

*Have a look here at the New York Times article http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/26/opinion/sunday/debunking-the-hunter-gatherer-workout.html?_r=3&hp&

*Picture by Anders Nilsen

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