11 myths that explain why almost everything we think about fitness, health and age is wrong ...

April 20, 2023

drawing of person running in sun
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On hunter-gatherer health:
    Anthropologists, historians and archaeologists have found that hunter-gatherers who survived childhood were often healthy until old age. Obesity was rare, people suffered from few infectious diseases and had virtually none of the chronic non-infectious conditions that weaken and kill so many of us today, like heart attacks, high blood pressure, adult-onset diabetes and fragile bones. In many respects hunter-gatherers like the Hadza were models of health through their adult lives.
    Archaeologists find that hunter-gatherers who took up farming lost a few centimetres in height and their lifespans fell by one quarter, suggesting that their health and welfare deteriorated considerably. By some estimates, human heights only got back to hunter-gatherer levels in the 20th century.
    Thanks for the youth mortality graph, which perhaps should not be a surprise. Farms and cities were not healthy places for children through most of human history, in large part because infectious diseases were devastating to the youth.

HowAndWhy - 2023 04 25

This is a fine article about exercise, health and ageing.  I had never heard of the Hadza peoples but I can well believe that their very active life-style brings many benefits.  And in this case, benefits that extend well into their 70s.  Nor had I heard of Olga Kotelko or Charles Eugster.  Makes me want to get up and go!!  Congratulations to the two of you for preparing a book about our inbuilt human superpower.

Peter_G_Moll - 2023 04 25

I wanted to attach a chart but this link should work. Another hunter gatherer myth busted: “hunter gathers had a higher rate of child mortality than populations in modern times.” In fact, child mortality was around the same from hunter gatherer times right up to the end of the 19th century at around 50%. It was only during the 20th century that child mortality fell dramatically to around 4.3% globally by 2020 and is even less in developed countries.

Camilla - 2023 04 25

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