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Study Of Modern Hunter-Gatherers Upends Theories About Global Obesity Problem

July 26, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
There is no difference in energy expenditure among modern hunter-gatherers and Westerners, according to new U.S. research that suggests eating too much, not exercising too little, might be the big problem. Scientists studied the Hadza of the savannah regions of northern Tanzania, who spend their days hunting and foraging for wild plants. Taking precise measurements and accounting for effects of body weight, etc., they found that the Hadza burned no more calories in a day than the average adult in the U.S. and Europe. The findings seem to indicate that the rise in obesity is due to increased food consumption, not decreased energy expenditure.
Herman Pontzer et al., "Hunter-Gatherer Energetics and Human Obesity", PLoS ONE, July 26, 2012, © Pontzer et al.
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