ChewsWise Blog

ChewsWise Blog

Embargo, Weight Loss and the Cuban Sandwich

The Slow Cook has a provocative post on what the collapse of the Soviet Union did to Cuba: it improved the diet, according to a study in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

The Cuban economy had become highly dependent on the financial supportas well as fuel, fertilizers and pesticides provided by the Soviet regime. When that ended in 1989, Cubans had to reinvent the way they feed themselves. Nationwide, Cubans consumed one-third fewer calories and most were forced to walk or bike to work. The average Cuban lost 20 pounds, and over a period of years the country reverted to an organic system of agriculture and planted every available green space for food crops.

During the decade-long period of adjustment, the prevalence of obesity in Cuban declined from 14 percent to 7 percent. Deaths from diabetes dropped 51 percent. Deaths from heart disease declined 35 percent. Overall, Cuba's death rate was reduced by 18 percent.

Sounds like the post-Peak Oil diet... One major casualty - the beloved Cubano sandwich.

- Samuel Fromartz