Scribner Seminar Program
Ancient Genes in the Land of Plenty
Instructor(s): Paul Arcerio, Associate Professor of Exercise Science
We have inherited genes dating to the late Paleolithic period (>10,000 yrs ago) that
evolved to support high levels of daily physical activity and a nutrient dense, high-fiber,
low-fat food intake. So, why is the modern-day American lifestyle so dangerous and
preventing us from achieving optimal health? We will study this evolutionary collision
of our ancient genes with the current state of relative inactivity and poor nutrition,
and how this collision results in the epidemic of obesity. With this knowledge, we
will explore the consequences of being considered one of the most technologically
sophisticated societies in the world, yet the leader among lifestyle related death
and chronic disease. Why does this paradox exist? Why are the healthiest cultures
of the world immune to these chronic diseases until they adopt our American lifestyle?
Students will analyze strategies and perform various physical activity and nutrition experiences to understand what it means to attain optimal health.