I see naked people

A little while back I wrote a post entitled “Feet on ground.” It was meant as a reminder, mostly to myself, about not getting caught by the paleo hype, if such a hype exists.

My experience and observations of the people around me, is that many (by this I mean more than one would think, but it’s not a great number) people who live non-paleo lives, who eat lots of grains and low fat products, still seem perfectly fine.

As some commenters suggested, this might be just an illusion. The effects of far from optimal diets become increasingly pronounced with increasing age. However, I must still admit that there are several people I know, that surprises me with regards to their health, even old people.

Admittedly, Norway is far from being the worst when it comes to diet and health. We are in general grain based, but we are still far from USA or UK, where things are truly bad.

But, I’m rambling. What I wanted to say, was that I’ve found a very subjective and entertaining way of getting a feel of how deteriorating a modern western lifestyle can be. This thought experiment can be done anywhere, but it might be easiest where people wear little clothes.

When in a place where there are lots of ordinary people (non paleo people) try to remember all those nature shows (best are from BBC and Human Planet is highly recommended, oh and David Attenborough rules) where you’ve seen human tribes living traditional lives.

The slender yet muscular fit looking people – of the type that climbs high trees and goes through much pain just for some honey, or that hunt lions on foot with a wooden spear – that likely come to mind, are likely nude or at least severely underdressed for a tea party, unless you are thinking of Inuit, Lapps or someone similar.
Now, look around, and imagine all the people around you similarly naked and in the bush or on the savannah. If the thought of these people in such a situation seem like some horrible joke of evolution, then we have reason to worry about our general health. 
Without seeming like some pervert, I actually think there are things to learn from these thought experiments. Mostly what I keep feeling is not that we are particularly fat (in Norway), but what strikes me, is how little muscular and fit people seem. This is more pronounced from middle age and up. Most of the lean people are either strikingly skinny and unhealthy looking, or lean in the female-westerner-with-high-body-fat-percentage-unable- to-do-a-single-push-up sort of way.  
Too much fat, and too little muscle

The lack of visual muscular fitness, often combined with poor body posture, surprises me more than the overweight.

Well, in other news, yet another study finds that overweigh people have higher life expectancy than their lean counterparts, albeit with greater risk of disabilities. Perhaps our focus should be on natural foods and exercise, rather than on the significance of some extra padding. (study here)