100 THE CHINA STUDY
CHART 4.11: CALORIE CONSUMPTION (KCAL/KG)
AND BODY WEIGHT
Calorie Intake (kcal/kg)
Average Body Mass Index
There are two possible explanations for this apparent paradox. First,
even the Chinese office workers are more physically active than aver-.
age Americans. Anyone familiar with China knows that many office
workers travel on bicycles. Thus, they consume more calories. Even so,
we cannot tell how much of the extra calorie consumption was due to
physical activity and how much to something else, perhaps their food.
We do know, however, that some people use the calories they con-
sume differently from other people. We often say that "they have a
higher rate of metabolism" or "it's in their genes." You know these
people. They are the ones who seem to eat all they want and still not
gain weight. Then there are most of us, who need to watch our calorie
intake-or so we think. This is the simplistic interpretation.
I have a more comprehensive interpretation that is based on our own
considerable research and on the studies of others. It goes like this.
Provided that we aren't restricting our calorie intake, those of us who
consume a high-fat, high-protein diet simply retain more calories than
we need. We store these calories as body fat, perhaps weave it into our
muscle fibers (we call it "marbling" in beef animals) and perhaps store
it in the more obvious places, like our butt, our midsection or around
our face and upper thighs.
Here's the clincher: only a small amount of calories needs to be re-
tained by our body to cause significant change in body weight. For ex-
ample, if we retain only an extra fifty calories per day, this can lead to an
extra ten pounds per year. You may not think that this is a lot, but over
a period of five years, that's an extra fifty pounds.
Some people would hear this and might be inclined to just eat fifty
fewer calories per day. This, theoretically, could make a difference, but it