The Vikings of Nutrition?

Posted by on May 24, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

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VikingPicIn 2012 Malta officially had the fattest, laziest men in Europe. At the other end of the spectrum we had Norway where the descendants of Vikings stroll around in jeans still kinda looking like Vikings i.e not fat and lazy.

None of this really struck me until after I had arrived at Oslo’s Rygge Airport, hopped off a pretty full plane from Malta, filed through customs, located the bus stop, caught the shuttle bus to the train station and boarded a train with lovely red armchair style seats and free wifi. After a few minutes quiet panic I realised I was not in fact in the first class carriage. This is just how they roll here.

Life is pretty good in Norway you see.

As I contemplated that very fact, it dawned on me that something was amiss.

I had yet to see a noticeably fat person!

This intrigued me. Were there no fat people in Oslo? Had I just not been paying attention? How long might it be until I did spot a seriously overweight individual?

I figured this was a great opportunity for an impromptu, completely non scientific study with a fancy sounding name and my own makey uppy rules. How about an “An observational study into the propensity of overweight and obesity in the urban Oslo region?”


Every study needs –

(1)         A Hypothesis:

“There are no really fat people in Oslo.”

(2)         A Methodology:

“Start the clock when the plane lands. Look for really fat people. Stop the clock when you see a really fat person.”



5 hours and 34 minutes.

The study ended the following morning in my hotel where an obese lady was eating breakfast, precisely 12 hours and 34 minutes after I had landed. Yes she may have been a tourist but by this stage I was desperate for a result!

Factoring in 7 hours of sleep, that’s a pretty impressive 5 hours and 34 minutes free of noticeably fat persons in Oslo.

How many times have you arrived to an airport in a capital city, jumped on a bus, hopped on a train, walked for 15 minutes through a city centre without seeing one obese person, checked in to your hotel, walked around the best bar area in the city for the evening and still not seen a very fat person.

Try it.

You will fail.

But what’s more interesting than my very unscientific study is this:

1. In 2011 Europe was slap bang in the middle of a contender for the greatest economic crisis in history in. Norway? How about full employment, lots of oil, a thriving economy and a black market for butter.

Yep. They ran out of butter!!

2. Scandinavia leads the world in the endorsement of high fat low carb (LCHF or HFLC if you like) – up to and including government policy.

Sometimes you don’t need science to back up a gut instinct. Sometimes you just have to look around you to know that something is either very wrong or very right.

Something is clearly very right in Oslo.

The downside? Bearing in mind that a Viking called Leif Ericson actually found America 500 years before Christopher Columbus – he just didn’t tell very many people about it – I’m not so sure we can rely on Norway to spread the bible on butter this time either. They are way too busy staying lean by eating fat (and low carb), giving out Nobel Prizes to everyone else and enjoying the highest standard of living in the western world.

All of which makes me wonder if Oslo is the modern day Valhalla of high fat diets/LCHF and its citizens the Vikings of Nutrition?

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