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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Americans Eat Like Sumo Wrestlers


It’s no surprise that so many Americans look like sumo wrestlers. They eat like sumo wrestlers!
As this video explains, ordinary people from the East Asian countries, including Japan, eat a diet that is based heavily on steamed rice and vegetables. To pack on the pounds, sumo wrestlers eat a dish called chanko-nabe, which is high in fat. They also eat a lot of rice and drink a lot of beer. The goal is to eat a lot more calories than they burn up in their training. They’ll burn the carbohydrate and alcohol calories right away. Any excess fat calories that they have is then efficiently stored.



The guy in this video did say a few things that weren't exactly correct. You don't have to sweat away excess sodium. Your kidneys normally excrete excess sodium and water. 

Extra calories from carbohydrate or alcohol can help you pack on the pounds, but only if you are already eating a fatty diet. The human body doesn't readily convert carbohydrate to fat, and it does so inefficiently. That’s why people on a starchy diet tend to be skinny. A similar principle applies to alcohol. That's why people who are drinking heavily but not eating much food tend to be slim.
Notice that these Sumo wrestlers from the 1870s weren’t terribly fat. Modern sumo wrestlers are obese and are prone to illnesses that are uncommon in Japan. Their life expectancy is correspondingly shorter than that of an ordinary Japanese person.

Group portrait of Japanese Sumo wrestlers

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