© 2023 Public Radio Tulsa
800 South Tucker Drive
Tulsa, OK 74104
(918) 631-2577

A listener-supported service of The University of Tulsa
classical 88.7 | public radio 89.5
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Prof. Herman Pontzer of the Duke Global Health Institute offers "Burn" (Encore)

Aired on Monday, October 24th.
Aired on Monday, October 24th.

"Science writing at its best: big ideas, wild and often hilarious stories from the field, and deft explanations. [This book] will reshape what you thought you knew about how our metabolisms work." -- Alex Hutchinson, author of "Endure"

(Note: This interview originally aired last year.) Our guest is Herman Pontzer, an Associate Professor of Evolutionary Anthropology at Duke University and Associate Research Professor of Global Health at the Duke Global Health Institute. A well-known researcher in human energetics and evolution, he joins us to discuss his book, "Burn." This book draws on Pontzer's groundbreaking studies with hunter-gatherer tribes in order to show how exercise actually **doesn't** increase our metabolism. Instead, human beings generally burn calories within a very narrow range -- nearly 3,000 calories per day, no matter our activity level. The book thus offers, per a starred review in Kirkus, "an absorbing, instructive lesson for anyone concerned about their health."

Related Content
  • A body of evidence suggests artificial sweeteners — most often consumed in diet drinks — could raise the risk of weight gain and type 2 diabetes. Some researchers think that artificial sugar may confuse the body.
  • Willpower will only take you so far, in case you haven't run that experiment yourself. Turns out our bodies have a fuel gauge, not entirely unlike the gas gauge in our cars, that tell us when it's time to tank up on food. Dieting can make the gauge go haywire.
  • Dozens of green tea drinks and pills for sale claim to help you burn more fat. But there's scant evidence that green tea, or any other food or drink product, can have a lasting impact on metabolism.
  • The proposition that some extra weight may not be a health worry has sparked a heated medical debate. Some studies have found that a little extra fat might have benefits. A new analysis suggests that for almost all people excess weight increases the risk of death and disease.
  • Diabetes can double a person's chances of developing Alzheimer's. Now researchers are beginning to understand the role of brain metabolism in the development of the disease.
  • Evolutionary anthropologist Herman Pontzer shares why some of the most physically active people in the world don't burn more calories than office workers. And what that means for your fitness goals.
  • Scientists have long been fascinated with whether dramatically restricting the amount of food we eat can help us live longer. New research suggests it might, but the question is, is it worth it?
  • Men and women who were regularly munching on peanuts or tree nuts in their 30s and 40s were significantly more likely to reach their 70s, a study found. Researchers say they aren't sure why nuts promote longevity, but they think it has to do with how they affect metabolism and satiety.