Economic down times can be good for your health

A food shortage is almost unthinkable in countries like Australia, but if it were to come about it might actually do us some good, a new study suggests.

New Scientist reports Canadian scientists have looked at the health of people in Cuba following a five year period in the early 1990s when the country was hit with serious food and fuel shortages.

Over the period, people in Cuba consumed an average of just 1800 calories a day and had plenty of exercise because they had to walk or cycle everywhere, resulting in a halving of the obesity rate to 7% – it is close to 20% in Australia.

The result? In following years, deaths from potentially fatal diseases fell dramatically – diabetes by 51%, coronary artery disease by 35%, and stroke by 20%.

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