The New York Times cobbles together a piece about anthropological and scientific testing which has never been done on such an objective scale. It goes on to say it revealed that the Hazda, a remaining hunter-gather tribe living a lifestyle perhaps most in tune for how we have evolved, don't expend anymore energy than we do in the West. So, the natural conclusion to ask: why do the Hazda look sexier in their yoga pants than me?
"The Hadza live in simple grass huts in the middle of a dry East African savanna. They have no guns, vehicles, crops or livestock. Each day the women comb miles of hilly terrain, foraging for tubers, berries and other wild plant foods, often while carrying infants, firewood and water. Men set out alone most days to collect honey or hunt for game using handmade bows and poison-tipped arrows, often covering 15 to 20 miles.
We found that despite all this physical activity, the number of calories that the Hadza burned per day was indistinguishable from that of typical adults in Europe and the United States. We ran a number of statistical tests, accounting for body mass, lean body mass, age, sex and fat mass, and still found no difference in daily energy expenditure between the Hadza and their Western counterparts.
How can the Hadza be more active than we are without burning more calories? It’s not that their bodies are more efficient, allowing them to do more with less: separate measurements showed that the Hadza burn just as many calories while walking or resting as Westerners do."
This is really something stunning on an informational scale for anthropology and evolutionary biology. Could the human body have an innate level of energy that regardless of environment will be spent daily on whatever projects are at hand? "But who cares about that," seems to be the lens this piece was written. Stooping to the lowest common denominator, the writer gives the Times reader what he wants in the article's conclusion; how is this information relevant to me achieving optimum fitness, so I can hold it over my suburban Spin class rivals?
Is this subject not interesting if it is not written in the scope of why Westerners are fat and what you must do personally to stop it? Will nobody read about this if it isn't added to the unholy litany of pseudo-scientific implications for "healthy living" from real scientific work. Good science is always humble and quiet about its conclusions, understanding the nature of scientific truth. People trying to re-appropriate science to legitimate their ideologies and lifestyles with a specious objectivity are dangerous types. Apparently whoever is reading the New York Times is expending all their innate levels of energy avoiding intellectual decency (beats walking 17 miles, I guess).