Sunday, March 2, 2014


After doing the readings for this week I was intrigued by some of the results from the studies and myths that were explained in better detail. When reading the Hunter-Gatherer Energetics and Human Obesity, I was surprised at what the results showed. I was first disappointed at the fact that by 2015 almost ⅓ people worldwide will be overweight. This is pretty disturbing to consider because that is just an overall disappointment in how the people of this world are not taking good care of themselves and are leading this population into a obese world where no one could potentially be healthy. When reading what was involved with the Hadza hunter-gatherers study I was in favor of the hypothesis that hunter-gatherers would expend more energy a day than market and farming economies of Westerners. You would typically think that the more you have to work in order to eat and feed your families with minimal tools, that you would just expend more calories a day and need more to burn than the average westerner. The results were relatively surprising, that the Hadza hunter-gatherers expended nearly the same daily calories as the average westerner. Haza men were active and lean with lower body fat percentages, but the problem was their diet. Although the hunter-gatherers were working harder, the food they consumed in order to have energy was unhealthy for them compared to westerners.

One of the myths that was surprising to me was about one day of physical activity can improve your health. I always personally thought that it would take at least a week to notice dramatic differences in individuals beginning to work out to notice something. However, the article stated that just one single session can last up to 3 days and would decrease important risk factors for diabetes and heart disease, while also increasing HDL cholesterol. I also noticed how in the article of the effects of physical inactivity demonstrated that physical inactivity causes 6-10% of the major non-communicable diseases of coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and breast & colon cancer.
Overall, I am just disappointed in how our human race is turning out. There are countless studies done to prove how simple aerobic daily exercises can save your life and keep you healthy, yet it is extremely hard for individuals to put forth the effort to do something about these frightening statistics. I am not saying everyone needs to be perfect, because no one can ever be perfect, but we can always strive to be healthy individuals by just eating right and exercising regularly.

1 comment:

  1. I was also surprised when I read how the benefits of one day of exercise can last for the next three days. It was also surprising that exercise could “boost” a person’s brain function. I found this noteworthy as I always thought the benefits of exercise were limited a person’s physical health rather than being able to positively influence his/ her cognitive ability and mental health. It would be interesting to find the reason behind why exercise helps with a person’s mental capacity- whether it is simple side effect due to more oxygen reaching the brain or through more complex interactions between chemicals that are released during physical activity.
    You also mentioned near the end of the last paragraph on how even though there is a large amount of data supporting the vast benefits of exercise, not many people (in the U.S at least) actually start on exercising. While the reason most people don’t exercise can be attributed to laziness and/ or satisfaction with their current lifestyle, some people might be deterred from exercising by following a movement gaining popularity called the “fat acceptance movement.” This movement, which is mainly spread through blogs and social media, advocates one should learn to accept obesity with statements such as “being fat is perfectly healthy” and “fat is beautiful.” This movement completely counters the all the scientific data that supports exercise and a healthy diet. With the rising obesity rates in the U.S, more people are drawn to this movement as it is easier to digest than reading research journals, presents a easier solution to their image problem, as well as having a large base on social media.
    There are two ways of looking at this movement. On one hand, the movement encourages people to accept themselves and their own body image, which may raise their self-esteem and confidence. On the other hand, the movement is advocating an unhealthy lifestyle (think of a blog that supports smoking cigarettes) through misleading statements and propaganda. Although it would be nice if more people adopted a healthier routine, I’m indifferent as to whether or not a random person chooses to take on an unhealthy lifestyle, as it’s their life and not mine. However, I don’t agree with the fat acceptance movement at any level as it is based chiefly on misinformation and an unwillingness to better oneself.