The Journal’s commitment to publish unfiltered reader commentary is appreciated, but I feel compelled to comment on the irresponsible comments offered by John Sisson on June 14 relating to the Journal’s excellent article on paleolithic diets (“Paleo takes diets back to future,” Journal, June 13).
Contrary to Sisson’s assertions, our pre-civilized ancestors enjoyed exceptional lifelong health and fitness (survival of the fittest, remember?) if they were able to avoid the rudimentary misfortunes of primal times.
Yes, life expectancy 10,000 years ago was 33, then it declined precipitously due to the advent of civilization (thanks mainly to sanitation/disease, but also due to inferior nutrition), reaching a low of 18 during the Roman Empire.
Maximum observed lifespan 10,000 years ago was an amazing 94 — no doctor, no medicine, no modern conveniences. We have excellent anthropological evidence from these times — visit a library or museum near you for details!
No one is arguing that we disavow technological advancement and return to hunting and gathering, only that we implement diet, exercise and overall lifestyle practices that are aligned with our genetic requirements for health and have been proven effective by the 2.5 million year, severely scrutinized (as in, life or death) scientific study known as human evolution.
Criticizing evolutionary-based health practices could be considered unwise in light of the sorry state of modern health: two-thirds of American adults overweight and 34 percent have Metabolic Syndrome, which is driven by excess insulin production (undisputed by the mainstream medical community), which is driven by excess consumption of the processed carbohydrates that came about with civilization.
Oh, we’re omnivores all right, but excess carb consumption is perhaps the most offensive genetic disconnect of modern times, and is creating destruction all around us. The California Center for Public Health Advocacy and other experts point directly to soda consumption as a driving force in the childhood obesity epidemic.
Perhaps you can indeed become a guinea pig (and make your kid one, too) and eliminate sodas, sugary foods, and all forms of grains (wheat, corn, rice, bread, pasta, cereal) in favor of paleo-style foods for 21 days, then evaluate the positive effects and report back to the Journal!
Brad Kearns, Auburn