The Eskimos* by comparison rated this description by Dr Samuel Hutton, who observed them over the period 1902 to 1913, from his book Health Conditions and Disease Incidence Among the Eskimos of Labrador:

Old age sets in at fifty and its signs are strongly marked at sixty. In the years beyond sixty the Eskimo is aged and feeble. Comparatively few live beyond sixty and only a very few reach seventy. Those who live to such an age have spent a life of great activity, feeding on Eskimo foods and engaging in characteristically Eskimo pursuits . . . Careful records have been left by the missionaries for more than a hundred years.

*The word Eskimo is derived from the language of the Cree Indians and means "eater of raw meat". It should be noted that the descriptions given of both the Hunzas and the Eskimos are those made early in the 20th Century before they began to discard their traditional and more primitive way of life.

It was also noted that the Eskimos had very low resistance to infectious diseases and suffered severe osteoporosis as they got older. A later study of a small population (about 1000) on the east coast of Greenland by Hoygaard and Pedersen, Copenhagen 1941, showed an average lifespan of only twenty-seven and a half years mainly due to premature degeneration of adults. Their diet was ninety-five per cent flesh food but it was not stated whether the Eskimos had adopted the white man's practice of cooking their food.

There is the comparison. Dr McCarrison attributed the excellence of the Hunzas to their diet, outdoor activity and bracing climate, so in view of the fact the Eskimos also indulged in much outdoor activity in a bracing climate, the distinction in their health status compared to the Hunzas is clearly due to dietary differences.

Now the dubious health standards of all "developed" countries are pretty similar to each other and the diseases of civilization occur among them in roughly the same proportions regardless of climate, and only a little influenced by occupation. Clearly diet is the problem, so let us look at a comparison of the typical American diet with that of the Hunzas.

These figures tell us that, on average, Americans consume over four times the amount of fat and twice the amount of protein than that consumed by a Hunza man while at the same time less carbohydrate, most of which is sugar or otherwise refined and fiberless.

Average Daily       Kilojoules    Fats       Protein     Carbohydrates 
Intake (Grams)     (Calories)     Gm          Gm          Gm

Americans all ages   13,860      157--40%    100--13%     380--47% 
                      (3300)                            Mostly refined 
   adult males        8,080       36--15%     50--10%     354--75% 
                      (1923)                          Mostly unrefined
(Percentages indicate proportion of total kilojoules/calories)

These figures tell us why Americans (and the rest of us) experience weight problems and mediocre health and die of heart disease, cancer and the other diseases of civilisation.

Note: This comparison of the Hunza diet to the American diet is for comparison purposes only, and is not made to convey the impression that the Hunza diet is an optimum one (which it is not). For discussion on what constitutes an optimum diet see Chapter 15: Dieting for Health and Longevity.