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mardi 21 avril 2009

Overweight Atheletes of America

This evening I witnessed a group of young Indians joyously playing a sport they adore.. Basketball. there was much happiness in the air and the efforts were strenuous. One can see that these young men were atheletes. There was one big difference.. If you were at the Gym watching a group of young European American men playing basketball, hardly any one would be overweight. Whereas all the Indian players were overweight. 
What makes American Indians and the people who have Indian admixture like Mexicans, Mestizos of the Americas, become fat so easily. I have visited Cuna Indians in San Blas Islands, Otavalo Indians at their home north of Quito, Ecuador and Tarahuamara amidst the Copper Canyon.. They were all active but lean, in fact when i checked about 100 tarahuamara, there was not a single Indian who would be considered "normal body weight" by western standards, they were all lean. It does not take much imagination to ascertain that at one time, before their freedom was taken away, fully, around 1862, American Indians were also thin and in fact I have several photographs from the 1950s showing them to be extremely fit and lean.
I checked the Obesity/Overweight rate at the tribe with whom I am spending today: 95 per cent are overweight or obese.
Oppression and Stress; Spiritual disruption followed by Physical disruption; bad eating habits, and then just bad food.. Just bad food, since the rest of the North Americans are also becoming Fat.. 66% are either overweight or fat..
45% of the children are overweight or obese, so it has to be something in the environment..
Nutritionists and other mavens talk about ingredients in the food and caloric content, but very seldom i have heard them discuss the chemical content of the food all of which are now shown to be obesogenic.. add to that Plastics and other chemical burdens..
Bread...the expert might discuss its carbohydrate content or its caloric value but may not discuss that it also contains High Fructose Corn syrup which is not a fruit  but a chemical which can increase insulin resistance in the body...
Watching these young Indians play so hard and so earnestly and almost all of them overweight or obese, i realized that the Indigenous people have lost all their freedom, including their choice of food.. now forced to eat what is easily available in their remote locations, beaten to the bottom of the emotional heap with no desire to cultivate the lands which was all theirs once upon a time..

The quality of available everyday food is very poor indeed...Till that is improved on a national basis, no amount of activity and exercise would help remove the chemical burden american indian bodies and increasingly all american bodies are exposed to..