It’s Food, Not Inactivity, That Makes Kids Fat

Anthropologists Show That What Kids Eat Matters More than What They Do     Over 13 million American children and teens are now classified as obese, and many others are overweight. During the past year, we have seen how obesity puts a body at risk for severe disease and death; starting on that path young makes for an extremely unhealthy outlook.   Sociologists, nutritionists, pediatricians, and child educators have done many studies trying to figure out why so many kids end up fat when childhood has normally been a time of high-energy…

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This Is Your Brain on Conspiracy Theories

Humans Just Can’t Handle What Evolution Gave Us     Wild conspiracy theories have polluted our country these days, and everyone is rushing to figure out why so many Americans are sucked into these clearly false and highly paranoid ideas. Apparently, 50% of Republicans believe that Hilary Clinton and others are involved in a child pornography ring run out of a pizza parlor, 42% believe that hydroxychloroquine is effective against Covid-19, 30% of them are aligned with that nutty Q-Anon stuff, and about 68% believe that Donald Trump won the election. But…

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The Evolution of Waiting

  How Westerners Fail at the Waiting Game   So now we wait.   Yes, we’ve already waited ten whole months, but now we have to wait even more to get the vaccine that will save us from Covid-19 and break us out of this time of suspended animation.   But why is it so hard to wait?   We should be used to waiting; we do it all the time as we wait for the bus, a companion to show up, at the doctor’s office, a baby to be born, a…

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The Most Selfish Culture on Earth-Or Maybe Not

Once Considered Unkind, the Ik Turn out to Be Nice When anthropologist Colin Turnbull lived among the Ik people of Uganda between 1964 and 1967, he found a bleak, loveless, unkind society where everyone was only out for themselves. Turnbull wrote about his experience in the best-selling 1972 book The Mountain People, an ethnographic follow up to his highly acclaimed The Forest People about the cooperative and socially entwined Mbuti pygmies of the Republic of Congo. The contrast between the two cultures couldn’t have been more shocking. The Ik were held up as evidence that…

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