Active Amish Avoid Obesity

Posted on September 10, 2008  Comments (3)

Lessons from the Amish: We’re not doomed to obesity

Four years ago we discovered that the Amish maintained super-low obesity levels despite eating a diet high in fat, calories and refined sugar. They key was their level of physical activity — men averaged 18,000 steps a day, women 14,000. That’s monumental compared to the paltry couple of thousand or so most of us eke out in a day.

A recent study revealed even more about the Old Order Amish: They maintain low obesity levels despite having a gene variation that makes them susceptible to obesity. The secret here? You guessed it — lots of physical activity.

Study Conclusions: “Our results strongly suggest that the increased risk of obesity owing to genetic susceptibility by FTO variants can be blunted through physical activity. These findings emphasize the important role of physical activity in public health efforts to combat obesity, particularly in genetically susceptible individuals.”

Sometimes the simple explanation is worth paying attention to. Add lack of activity to eating more (Obesity Epidemic Explained – Kind Of: 1970 Americans ate an average of 2170 calories per day in 2000 they ate an average of 2700) and it seems like it is logical we would gain weight due to these two factors.

Related: $500 Million to Reduce Childhood Obesity in USARegular Exercise Reduces FatigueArticles on Improving the Health Care System

3 Responses to “Active Amish Avoid Obesity”

  1. Siddhaswarupananda
    September 12th, 2008 @ 6:57 am

    With $500 million being spent on reducing the obesity rates in children, it makes it quite ironic that in some parts of the world there are people on the complete opposite of the spectrum- starving people.

    I’ve found the Amish to be quite remarkable in several ways. Indeed this is just another sense in their simplistic living. It still all boils down to – simple living and hopefully high thinking that lessens very unnecessary problems like obesity.

  2. Curious Cat Science Blog » Fast Fitness Forecast is False, it Takes Time
    January 24th, 2009 @ 9:35 am

    Our bodies evolved under conditions with much more exercise than we currently get if we sit in an office all day. And we had less food. It is no surprise with more food and less exercise that we gain weight…

  3. Curious Cat Science Blog » The Calorie Delusion
    July 16th, 2009 @ 8:43 am

    It seems pretty obvious, just looking around, as you walk around in any city that people are much fatter, on average, than we were 20 years ago…

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