# Government Departments (...
- Author: [[@mnvrsngh on Twitter]]
- Full Title: Government Departments (...
- Category: #tweets
- URL: https://twitter.com/mnvrsngh/status/1521505488780808195
- Government departments (like @USDA & @DHSCgovuk) frequently publish dietary guidelines. But looking at hunter-gatherers & forager-farmers, I'm struck by how many violate Western guidelines yet have healthier hearts & much less chronic illness.
Here are 3 well-studied examples:
!(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/FR13FNRXIAAkUrc.jpg) ([View Tweet](https://twitter.com/mnvrsngh/status/1521505488780808195))
- 1. Kitavans of Trobriand Islands (Papua New Guinea)
In 1990, Staffan Lindeberg spent several months w/ the Kitavans, observing their diet, physical activity, & daily habits. He also measured a slew of health & physiological variable for ~170 adults.
!(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/FR13N96XEAAakzc.jpg) ([View Tweet](https://twitter.com/mnvrsngh/status/1521505491536470017))
- Lindeberg found that 70% of the Kitavan's calories came from carbs (e.g., fruits, yams, sweet potato, taro) & ~17% from saturated fat (coconut oil), both in excess of @USDA guidelines. Yet he observed no diabetes & "cardiovascular disease was virtually nonexistent”.
!(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/FR13R3jX0AE4tSb.jpg) ([View Tweet](https://twitter.com/mnvrsngh/status/1521505496066310145))
- 2. Tsimane of Bolivian Amazon
Since 2002, @MGurven, Hilly Kaplan, @j_stieglitz & others have studied the diet, health, behavior, & life history of 1000s of Amazonian forager-farmers. This is (I believe) the most detailed study of health in a small-scale non-industrial society.
!(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/FR13ZfHXIAMseA4.jpg) ([View Tweet](https://twitter.com/mnvrsngh/status/1521505501225402368))
- Like the Kitavans, the Tsimane eat too many carbs by @USDA standards: ~65% of calories are from starchy cultigens (e.g., rice, manioc, plantains) + more come from other fruit. They also consume ~300 mg calcium/day — far less than typical Western recommendations of >1000 mg/day.
!(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/FR13fy3X0AApbPe.jpg) ([View Tweet](https://twitter.com/mnvrsngh/status/1521505512411602945))
- Despite the carbs & very low calcium, the Tsimane are medical marvels compared to Westerners. They have hardly any fatty liver disease, brains that atrophy much more slowly with age, & the lowest levels of coronary artery disease ever recorded in a population (see plots).
!(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/FR13vM8XMAENKo3.jpg) ([View Tweet](https://twitter.com/mnvrsngh/status/1521505517545345024))
- 3. Hadza of Tanzania
For years, researchers like Frank Marlowe, @briwood1 (pictured), @Berbesque, @HermanPontzer, & others have conducted detailed studies of Hadza hunter-gatherers, collecting valuable data on health, diet, & behavior.
!(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/FR131QzXMAcBBp7.png) ([View Tweet](https://twitter.com/mnvrsngh/status/1521505522532372482))
- Most striking about the Hadza diet is the quantity of simple sugars in the form of honey. According to @Berbesque's data, >60% of Hadza calories come from honey some months. On average, the Hadza seem to get ~400 calories from honey/day — vastly exceeding @USDA guidelines.
!(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/FR1349rWQAQEiye.jpg) ([View Tweet](https://twitter.com/mnvrsngh/status/1521505527506817024))
- Despite all the honey, of 192 Hadza people studied, only 2 (barely) qualified as overweight and one (barely) qualified as obese. There is also no evidence of type II diabetes. Of 20 people checked, none had fasting blood glucose levels >85 mg/dL (diabetes is >125 mg/dL).
!(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/FR1384tXMAIfzD7.jpg) ([View Tweet](https://twitter.com/mnvrsngh/status/1521505536935702530))
- Why the lack of cardiac & metabolic disease among foragers & forager-farmers? There are many possibilities: More fiber, less salt, more pathogens, more activity. But honestly, we don’t know. We still struggle to understand why industrialized lifestyles carry such health risks.
!(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/FR14FFMWYAcw-f_.jpg) ([View Tweet](https://twitter.com/mnvrsngh/status/1521505545106112513))
- A final note: These examples aren't cherrypicked. Rather, these are the subsistence populations whose diets and health have been, to my knowledge, best studied. I am sure that many peoples deviated further from Western guidelines yet were still mostly free of chronic disease. ([View Tweet](https://twitter.com/mnvrsngh/status/1521505546771353601))