Herman Pontzer, an assistant professor of anthropology at Hunter College in New York, has studied the Hadza people of Tanzania. These people are one of the few remaining hunter-gathers. The women walk miles each day searching for berries and other wild plants, firewood and water. And, the men often cover 15 to 20 miles a day hunting for game with bows and arrows.
What’s interesting about these people? Despite all of their physical activity, Pontzer says, they burn about the same number of calories as typical adults in the United States or Europe.
“Our bodies adapt to our daily routines and find ways to keep overall energy expenditure in check,” he said in an article in the September 3, 2012, issue of The Dallas Morning News.
Don’t depend on walking, running and exercising to lose weight, Pontzer concludes.
“We’re getting fat because we eat too much, not because we’re sedentary. Physical activity is very important for maintaining physical and mental health, but we aren’t going to Jazzercise our way out of the obesity epidemic.”