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PHOTO BY STEPHEN Z FADEM, MD, FASN

The Amboseli and Masai Mara Baboons

The Masai Mara National Reserve and Amboseli National park are in Eastern Africa. In both reserves, baboons who live near the tourist facilities steal food waste from the lodge area, while those whose primary habitat is in the savannah, do not.The refuse is essentially the same food consumed by humans, with a high fat content.

In studies done among both cohorts of baboons, those who forage in the lodge had two to three times the levels of insulin, as well as increased total cholesterol, VLDL+LDL and HDL when compared with those animals who eat in the wild and do not forage around the lodges.

Kemnitz JW, Sapolsky RM, Altmann J, Muruthi P, Mott GE, Stefanick ML.Effects of food availability on serum insulin and lipid concentrations in free-ranging baboons.Am J Primatol. 2002 May;57(1):13-9.



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