7

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Why are Samoans overweight?

Answered on August 30, 2015
Created March 23, 2011 at 3:21 AM

I was watching that bizarre foods show on the Travel Channel, and the host was in Samoa, explaining how the Samoans eat and farm and fish in the traditional ways they always have, and then he participated in a traditional Samoan meal. The meal consisted of pork kidneys, liver, and heart; eel; mutton fat; and some fruit, all cooked over a fire. Sounds pretty H-G and paleo to me. So, why is it that Samoans are so well known for being overweight to the point of obesity? This article talks about the problem, with the recommendation from the island Ministry of Health that Samoans start cutting back on consumption of fat! So...what gives?

Cc69a51b427eaad36251cce9dcca4d3a

(1074)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

LOL jimmy moore is a fail

Cc69a51b427eaad36251cce9dcca4d3a

(1074)

on June 02, 2013
at 01:57 PM

LOl. ps fuck you Greg

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on June 02, 2013
at 12:24 PM

Flagged for being an offensive fuck.

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on October 11, 2012
at 02:03 PM

This is pretty offensive, and outright incorrect. Lots of people who are fat aren't "pigging out on sugar and starch snacks".

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on September 18, 2012
at 05:16 AM

^ This is it. They dont really eat their traditional diet much anymore. They are very fond of modern processed stuff.

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on September 18, 2012
at 04:47 AM

reminds me of a scene from 'pulp fiction' http://www.hark.com/clips/hytlqvylbw-whats-the-nigger-gonna-do-hes-samoan

B0454de6d4f4cdd9ca2e59021dc105bf

(606)

on June 21, 2011
at 06:16 AM

re: sissons pic. lol! literally a poster boy for the paleo community!

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on March 24, 2011
at 10:07 AM

Stephen is correct, even if it is unwittingly :)

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22923)

on March 23, 2011
at 03:41 PM

because they eat more calories than they burn

531db50c958cf4d5605ee0c5ae8a57be

(8878)

on March 23, 2011
at 02:24 PM

Thanks for sharing this article.

0d2dec01a5ed9363a9915e111ae13f7e

(4583)

on March 23, 2011
at 01:03 PM

In my locality, the Lakota reservations have a high incidence of obesity, diabetes, etc. It certainly is not due to their traditional diet of bison, deer, elk, and other game meats. It's likely due to the processed and industrial based "foods" so common in the SAD and so commonly pushed through Government programs (WIC, SNAP, etc).

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on March 23, 2011
at 03:43 AM

Hmm, yeah that is usually how these things go. Take modern day representation of a population and implicate their traditional diet. They do it with the Inuit too.

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16 Answers

14
5e36f73c3f95eb4ea13a009f4936449f

(8280)

on March 23, 2011
at 03:35 AM

Simple, they don't really eat that "traditional diet". They eat a more processed diet on cheap, easily available food and are substantially more sedentary now. This affects more than the Samoans as well.

https://www.maxwell.syr.edu/uploadedFiles/moynihan/dst/curtis5.pdf?n=3228

531db50c958cf4d5605ee0c5ae8a57be

(8878)

on March 23, 2011
at 02:24 PM

Thanks for sharing this article.

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on March 23, 2011
at 03:43 AM

Hmm, yeah that is usually how these things go. Take modern day representation of a population and implicate their traditional diet. They do it with the Inuit too.

0d2dec01a5ed9363a9915e111ae13f7e

(4583)

on March 23, 2011
at 01:03 PM

In my locality, the Lakota reservations have a high incidence of obesity, diabetes, etc. It certainly is not due to their traditional diet of bison, deer, elk, and other game meats. It's likely due to the processed and industrial based "foods" so common in the SAD and so commonly pushed through Government programs (WIC, SNAP, etc).

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on September 18, 2012
at 05:16 AM

^ This is it. They dont really eat their traditional diet much anymore. They are very fond of modern processed stuff.

10
246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0

(21420)

on March 23, 2011
at 08:41 PM

You saw a television show where they prepared a traditional meal for Andrew Zimmern. What you didn't see was the refined SAD that they eat for the other 99% of the time.

Diabetes and obesity run rampant in recently (last 200 years) Westernized cultures such as Pacific Islanders and Native Americans. Their traditional foods (albeit high in natural fructose) are not the culprit.

7
Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on March 23, 2011
at 03:33 AM

The first page google page I came up with says this

"We recommend that people reduce the amount of lamp flaps being eaten.??? Lamb flaps, however, are not the only source of fatty food in Samoa. Turkey tails top the fat content chart with 32 grams of fat per 100 grams. Lamb flaps follow closely with 27.4 grams of fat per 100 grams. Common daily foods such as Mackerel canned in oil contain 12 grams of fat per 100 grams served and Samoan banana chips have a high 32.6 grams of fat per 100 grams. "

Blatant meat-hating aside, notice how their mockerel is canned in oil. Oil...as in soy oil? Which oil? If I was eating shit canned in soy oil every day I would be fat too. See the work of Ray Peat for that.

http://www.islandsbusiness.com/news/index_dynamic/containerNameToReplace=MiddleMiddle/focusModuleID=130/focusContentID=18238/tableName=mediaRelease/overideSkinName=newsArticle-full.tpl

A depiction of lean and robust plains Indians who followed the buffalo http://www.indiandogs.com/images/map/plains%20old%207.jpg

edit: oh and Mark Sisson http://ezinearticles.com/members/mem_pics/Mark-Sisson_203382.jpg

I just like posting pictures of Mark Sisson. I know I'm not the only one titters

B0454de6d4f4cdd9ca2e59021dc105bf

(606)

on June 21, 2011
at 06:16 AM

re: sissons pic. lol! literally a poster boy for the paleo community!

5
5c9fda2bd0018516806bba200a93f6fa

(608)

on September 18, 2012
at 04:22 AM

Samoans like the pima indians have whats known as "thrifty genes". Most of them naturally store lots of body fat efficiently. These people are the types that would survive a famine. In modern times, food is in abundance, they eat more than what thier bodies require, they get fatter. Most of them are Endomorphs. Endomorphs are naturally big boned and store fat easily. It's an enviromental and evolutionary thing. Do reasearch on google about it. Main reasons are the industrial crappy food they eat. They dont eat their natural diet as often. Refined sugars and grains, veggie/seed oils can make any group of people fat. Even people with superior athletic genes can get fat eating like a typical westerner.

4
Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on March 23, 2011
at 03:52 AM

Staples of the diet remain taro, breadfruit, bananas, coconuts, papayas, mangoes, some chicken, pork, canned corned beef (pisupo) and seafood. Lots of fructose and carbs......Onions, potatoes, lettuce, cabbages, carrots, beans, and tomatoes are also eaten occasionally. And the big issue.....Supermarkets carry most foods found in a U.S. market!!!

Even the tradional diet was not what I call ideal but when add american diet to it......forget it.

2
07a66a20e92a43178981c86ecac3b0aa

on December 08, 2012
at 02:49 AM

The traditional diet in Samoa is not the culprit. Yes, taro breadfruit and fruit are still the staples for most but the culprits are cheap junk food. Samoans are well aware of what food is healthy and what isn't. So really - the culprit is the individual.

There is also a mentality of fat equals wealthy and skinny equals lowly farm labourer (poor)...let's not forget Samoa is a developing nation.

Samoans are often rewarded with food; when the award wage is less than US$1/hour yet living costs as high as developed nations, food is big reward. At weddings, funerals, events etc. If you are a priest, politician etc. you get fed first. Children are last and get what is leftover, opposite to societies that believe in going without to provide for their offspring. This creates a mentality of 'get it when you can'. This also explain why chicken and pigs get scraps (as they can be eaten) yet dogs are treated as if they are the devil and starve.

Samoans are expected to share and provide what they can for their family (and church) - so when an individual gets the chance it is common that they gorge themselves - it's one of the few things they get to do for themselves. Again, creating a 'get it when you can' mentality.

The 'thrifty gene' theory is disputed and wasn't used as an excuse until Samoans and other Islanders started to get FAT.

And remember that Samoa is 'based on God' - and many....most use God as the reason for anything happening. Being fat, being in debt, turning up late to work every day and getting fired, stealing from your boss, the 2009 tsunami...all God's will.

Knowledge or availability of healthy food does not make the majority of Samoans FAT - their culture does. Not their culture from 100 years ago - their modern culture.

1
32652cb696b75182cb121009ee4edea3

(5802)

on June 02, 2013
at 11:34 AM

The Samoans are a classic example of what Taubes and Shanahan discuss in their books. (Good Cal Bad Cal, and Deep Nutrition). The closer a people group is to their traditional diet (generation wise), the more havoc the western diet wreaks on them. The Native Americans, the Australian aboriginal tribes, the Samoans, etc. Their genes have absolutely no adaptations for dealing with this new food stuff. Even though they are obese, they are starving at a cellular level as their bodies cannot extract enough nutrients from western foods.

1
272c7594f4a66e80f565aa2d9bd08ce6

on October 11, 2012
at 01:46 PM

As a government Programs employer, government programs do not promote process food and unhealthy food selections. As a matter of fact, they provide professional nutrional education to help the public fight obesity. Many of the foods provided through WIC and SNAP governemnt programs have been carefully selected to avoid, not only processed food products, but to avoid high fat foods as well. Food choices offered by these programs are fruits and vegetables, no processed foods authorized, dairy, protein, and grains.

For Samoans who are on these programs, they receive certain amounts of food that are considered healthy in nature, but it is up to them, whether they take heed to professional support on dietary guidelines, its up to them to make that choice on food portions, but are they eating in moderation, is the question?

0
Medium avatar

(167)

on August 30, 2015
at 10:39 PM

They also don't live the traditional lifestyle anymore. They' don't climb coconut trees, they drive to the store and buy coconuts. They don't chase down pigs with machetes anymore, they buy pork like the rest of us buy pork. 

0
Fb147a3d3d05c1ae32de58ec5d13fd34

on September 18, 2012
at 04:12 AM

They read Jimmy Moore's books?

Cc69a51b427eaad36251cce9dcca4d3a

(1074)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

LOL jimmy moore is a fail

0
95601768ec9cb75cc3a9cbcd2271ed14

(2206)

on March 23, 2011
at 03:54 PM

Many decades of colonial rule will do that to a people. Especially a people with a genetic predisposition towards insulin resistance and a cultural reverence for obesity.

Here are some historical photos of American Samoa throughout the years.

0
9aa2a816c61170cc0183a68be0386ba5

on March 23, 2011
at 12:59 PM

From what I've seen and heard about Samoans and also Japanese Sumo Wrestlers is that they may have a high body fat percentage, but that it is the loose, jiggly fat - not the hard fat that makes your arteries clogged and unhealthy. So there may be a difference.

-1
677eaab31451b6d9e882ddcf4d2c2cae

on June 02, 2013
at 10:07 AM

Because Samoans think tht they are running out off food that's why they eat as the world is going to end those fat fucks think they are hard and shit and trash the country like New Zealand with there graffiti why can they just go back to ther small island , maybe they are tooooooo faaaat to fit in that's y they have to go to a different country and fuck sht up

0e0959cf56db13d47c25acde0721fbe9

on August 28, 2015
at 10:21 AM

You need some sense knocked into you, you illiterate asshole. Please define "fat fucks".

Cc69a51b427eaad36251cce9dcca4d3a

(1074)

on June 02, 2013
at 01:57 PM

LOl. ps fuck you Greg

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on June 02, 2013
at 12:24 PM

Flagged for being an offensive fuck.

-1
6f4e29387c5c20e8ebe2d1e8bfa00991

on September 18, 2012
at 04:00 AM

nevermind i'll find someone like you, i wish nothing but the best for you....

-1
6f4e29387c5c20e8ebe2d1e8bfa00991

on September 18, 2012
at 03:59 AM

nevermind i'll find someone like you, i wish nothing but the best for you....

-3
C2502365891cbcc8af2d1cf1d7b0e9fc

(2437)

on March 23, 2011
at 05:37 AM

Same as everyone who's fat. Away from the stares of others they're pigging out on sugar and starch snacks.

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on October 11, 2012
at 02:03 PM

This is pretty offensive, and outright incorrect. Lots of people who are fat aren't "pigging out on sugar and starch snacks".

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