Hazda Hunt, Tanzania, Calories Burned More or Less than Average Americans

Which Culture around the world burns the most calories on average?

Surely a tribe like the Hazda out of Tanzania who spend their days hunting and gathering do.

They at least burn more calories than American’s on average.

Interestingly.. no.  They don’t. Huh?

At least not according to several studies examining energy expenditure of different populations around the world. Just to reference one study out PLOS ONE Vol 7 from 2012:

  • The Hazda men burn on average 2600 calories per day
  • The Hazda women burn on average 1900 calories per day

This is the same as American men and woman and for populations all around the world.

This is, in my opinion, a survival mechanism.

We wouldn’t last that long spending 9000 calories per day looking for a harvest of only 1000 calories.

What I believe happens and the leading explanation is, the body suppresses and borrows energy from less vital functions in order to meet the demands of the individual’s priorities and actions.

This is perhaps part of the reason why overtraining thwarts ovulatory cycles in women. Or why immunity takes a hit when working out too much—be it light workouts or intense.

It’s a borrow from Peter to pay Paul system… That saying always annoyed me.  Fitting here though.

Speaking on Biblical references:
  • All this points to obesity being a disease of gluttony rather than a disease of sloth.
  • If food is the primary thing that gets us obese, then food is the most powerful thing that will get us lean. Not necessarily exercise.

Food strategies, Food patterns, Food functions and yes, calories should be the highest priority in any weight loss program.

Exercise, while essential, cannot overcome a poor diet.