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Medicine Grand Rounds, Herman Pontzer “Healthy As a Hunter-Gatherer: Sorting Paleofact from Paleofiction in Modern Metabolic Medicine”
May 30 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Hunter-gatherer populations are remarkably healthy, with men and women living into their 60’s, 70’s and beyond without hypertension, diabetes, or other cardiometabolic disease. Dr. Pontzer will review his recent work on the diet, activity, and health of these remarkable populations. These societies are incredibly active, but burn fewer calories and eat more carbohydrate-rich diets than generally thought. He will discuss the implications of this work for shaping public health strategies to combat cardiometabolic disease.
Dr. Pontzer investigates the physiology of humans and apes to understand how ecology, lifestyle, diet, and evolutionary history affect metabolism and health. He also is interested in how ecology and evolution influence musculoskeletal design and physical activity. Field projects focus on small-scale societies, including hunter-gatherers and subsistence farmers, in Africa and South America. His lab researches energetics and metabolism, including respirometry and doubly labeled water methods.
Herman Pontzer is Associate Professor of Evolutionary Anthropology at Duke University in the Trinity College of Arts and Sciences. HIs writing appears in Scientific American, The New York Times, and on Twitter.