Skip to main content

View Diary: Science Tidbits (13 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  ancient rich people got just as much to eat (7+ / 0-)

    Rich people throughout history generally ate very well: lots of calories in general, and plenty of meat, sugar, alcohol, and so on.  A lot of portraits clearly show the soft features and pot bellies of an overweight person, versus the walking skeletons that the common people would have been.

    Lady Dai, a 2000 year old Han Dynasty noblewoman whose body was so well preserved (by unknown means) that it was still soft when it was discovered, was revealed by an autopsy to have been obese and diabetic as well as atherosclerotic.  She died of a heart attack in her 50s, which may have been triggered by the pain of a motile bile stone, again from a rich diet.

    •  There are penalties to be had (4+ / 0-)

      from the 'good life.'  Sad to know but true nonetheless.  If all of us were calorie restricted we'd live longer and happier.

      War only feeds the fires of hate.--James Barclay

      by possum on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 02:22:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  there's a middle ground (5+ / 0-)

        Medieval peasants were "calorie restricted"; it's the main reason they were five feet tall, dumb as posts, and didn't live much past 30.  Calorie needs are a function of activity levels, and for most of human history, calorie intake has been inversely proportional to activity levels: the harder you worked, the less food you got.  I read somewhere that the average peasant got less than 2000 calories per day; fine for an office worker, not fine for a farmhand.  By contrast, the average monk who sat on his ass all day got twice as many calories, and the fat jolly friar was a well established stereotype.

        •  Exactly right. (4+ / 0-)

          Restriction should be limited to the best number for lifestyle.  Active people need more and should have that access.  It is the inactive who would benefit from lower numbers of daily calories.

          War only feeds the fires of hate.--James Barclay

          by possum on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 03:42:36 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  The quality of the food is also important (6+ / 0-)

          Most studies of the benefits of caloric restriction make sure that the subjects get all necessary nutrients at the same time that they're getting fewer calories.  Those medieval peasants weren't only getting less food, they were also getting low quality food--so there's another variable in addition to the number of calories and people's activity levels.

          "If they give you lined paper, write the other way." (Juan Ramon Jimenez)

          by bread on Mon Mar 18, 2013 at 05:40:34 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  And yet another important piece of the puzzle. (0+ / 0-)

            Thanks for sharing, bread.  Quality over quantity is often the case in all of our affairs.

            War only feeds the fires of hate.--James Barclay

            by possum on Tue Mar 19, 2013 at 04:04:52 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site