Feb 18, 2022

This scientist busts myths about how humans burn calories—and why

Posted by in categories: food, health

Some interesting new information on how humans use energy and why exercise is not necessarily useful for losing weight (though it can help prevent gaining weight in the first place and of course is good for health).

I’m still curious why I accidentally lost about 30 pounds without intending to while I was eating probably twice as much as normal when I spent three months at the South Pole (2007−08). Did the cold increase my brown fat and my metabolism? Did it have something to do with unpolluted air and water? Was it a difference in the food, most of which was from New Zealand? Was it the high altitude (equivalent to about 10,500 feet at the equator)? Did the roughly 30 pounds of extra clothing I wore every day somehow trigger weight loss to “maintain” my previous weight? Something else?

As this example shows, there is still a great deal we can learn about these questions which are crucial to maintaining human health.

The work of evolutionary anthropologist Herman Pontzer shows why humans are the fattest, highest energy apes.

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