Monday, September 27, 2010
2. Sulfur Availability and Obesity Rates
The ultimate source of sulfur is volcanic rock, mainly basalt, spewed up from the earth's core during volcanic eruptions. It is generally believed that humans first evolved from a common ape ancestor in the African rift zone, a region that would have enjoyed an abundance of sulfur due to the heavy volcanic activity there. The three principle suppliers of sulfur to the Western nations are Greece, Italy and Japan. These three countries also enjoy low rates of heart disease and obesity and increased longevity. In South America, a line of volcanoes tracks the backbone of Argentina. Argentinians have a much lower obesity rate than their neighbors to the east in Brazil. In the United States, Oregon and Hawaii, two states with significant volcanic activity, have among the lowest obesity rates in the country. By contrast, the highest obesity rates are found in the midwest and southern farm country: the epicenter of the modern agricultural practices (mega farms) that lead to sulfur depletion in the soil. Among all fifty states, Oregon has the lowest childhood obesity rates. Significantly, Hawaii's youth are faring less well than their parents: while Hawaii ranks as the fifth from the bottom in obesity rates, its children aged 10-17 weigh in at number 13. As Hawaii has recently become increasingly dependent on food imports from the mainland to supply their needs, they have suffered accordingly with increased obesity problems.