The Abstract Podcast

Humans evolved to chill, which led to "skinny drops"

Episode #2: Chill humans seek health hacks


Research says Americans have evolved to become more sedentary, with estimates suggesting we spend about 6.4 hours each day sitting. As we look to ramp up our metabolism in the face of this data, supplements known as “skinny drops" have grown increasingly popular on YouTube and TikTok.

In this episode of The Abstract podcast, we ask: If human beings evolved to chill, are “metabolism boosters” the answer to better health?

Stream the episode below for a deep dive into human potential.

Our first story is about “metabolism drops,” the weight loss supplements that have gained popularity on the social web, an ecosystem that makes deceptive marketing easier than ever. But there are no two ways about it: It’s very, very hard to gauge which health products are legit -- and which are scams. But “skinny drops” -- which are little dropper bottles that claim to “detox your body and promote weight loss,” remain totally unregulated because they are classified as dietary supplements, which fall under a different set of rules than food or drugs, according to a federal law passed in 1994. So it comes down to this: while metabolism is a buzzword in the murky world of wellness, the science behind so-called weight loss hacks is only a drop in the bucket.

Our second story digs deeper into the human evolution of physical activity. By examining the sedentary habits of the Hazda, a present-day hunter-gatherer society in Tanzania, researchers suggest that our true nature is to sit for prolonged periods of time. But while exercise and movement is beneficial to our health, it turns out relaxing isn't actually so bad — we're just doing it wrong.

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Right now, facts and science matter more than ever. That's part of the reason for The Abstract, this all-new podcast from the Inverse staff that focuses exclusively on science and innovation. Three new episodes are released a week, and each covers one theme via two related stories. Each features audio of original Inverse reporting, where the facts and context take center-stage. It's hosted by the Tanya Bustos of WSJ Podcasts. Because we're Inverse, it's all true but slightly off-kilter. It's made for people who want to know the whole story. Nick Lucchesi, executive editor, Inverse

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