Dog greeter, Kitava Island, Trobriand Islands, PNG
This Kitava Island dog waded out to greet us. I figured that this photo was unlikely to offend anyone, even though the dog IS naked, LOL. Some interesting research on the Kitava Island diet/health connection has recently been published, which I have summarized below.
Kitava island and the other Trobriand islands are famous not only for their culture but also for their huge yam gardens, controlled by matrilineal clans, and important in their culture and traditions. They have no electricity, no cars, and no outboard motors on boats. The people are most subsistence horticulturalists.
In 1989, Swedish researcher Staffan Lindeberg and his team identified Kitava Island as being one of the last populations on Earth where dietary habits match that of the original inhabitants of the island several thousand years ago, as early as 23,000 BP (before present). Sixty-nine percent of their calories come from carbohydrate, 21% from fat and 10% from protein; this is essentially a carbohydrate-heavy version of the paleolithic diet. Lindeberg found that the residents of Kitava live exclusively on root vegetables (yam, sweet potato, taro, tapioca), fruit (banana, papaya, pineapple, mango, guava, water melon, pumpkin), vegetables, fish and coconuts. Less than 0.2% of their caloric intake came from Western food, such as edible fats, dairy products, sugar, cereals, and alcohol (compared with roughly 75% in Western society). Their fat consumption (from coconuts), while low, is high in saturated fat and they have high intakes of vitamins, minerals and soluble fibre, and a low salt consumption.
Lindeberg's studies of the islanders showed that Kitava Island has a fair number of older residents, none of whom show signs of dementia or poor memory. Death is due to accidents such as drowning or falling from a coconut tree, homicide, malaria, complications of pregnacy and old age. The islanders have undetectable levels of cardiovascular disease, stroke and overweight and they have low blood pressure and no acne. Sounds like a pretty healthy diet to me!
Pictures of large groups islanders can be seen here: http://goo.gl/WXzCX
135 mm, 1/640 sec, f11, ISO 160