Tag: health

1973 analysis suggests that “person on bicycle” equals number one in efficiency for animals and/or machines.

“It is worth asking why such an apparently simple device as the bicycle should have had such a major effect on the acceleration of technology. The answer surely lies in the sheer humanity of the machine. Its purpose is to make it easier for an individual to move about, and this the bicycle achieves in a way that quite outdoes natural evolution.

When one compares the energy consumed in moving a certain distance as a function of body weight for a variety of animals and machines, one finds that an unaided walking man does fairly well (consuming about .75 calorie per gram per kilometer), but he is not as efficient as a horse, a salmon or a jet transport. With the aid of a bicycle, however, the man’s energy consumption for a given distance is reduced to about a fifth (roughly .15 calorie per gram per kilometer).

Therefore, apart from increasing his unaided speed by a factor of three or four, the cyclist improves his efficiency rating to No. 1 among moving creatures and machines.” (S.S. Wilson from Scientific American, March 1973)

(see this link, via futility closet)

Keywords: ornithology, art, and pharmaceutical packaging.




By Sara Landeta, via Colossal

A cricket match: smokers versus non-smokers.

Here’s an interesting clip from From Henry Colburn’s 1840 London “calendar of amusements”:


Of course, what we need to know is who won?

From Futility Closet

Literally, images of well balanced meals.




By Elena Mora, via My Modern Met.

On the subject of MacDonald’s. Some obvious (and useless?) science.

Potential Effects of the Next 100 Billion Hamburgers Sold by McDonald’s. (2005) American Journal of Preventive Medicine 28(4) :379-381

Background: McDonald’s has sold more than 100 billion beef-based hamburgers worldwide with a potentially considerable health impact. This paper explores whether there would be any advantages if the next 100 billion burgers were instead plant-based burgers.

Methods: Nutrient composition of the beef hamburger patty and the McVeggie burger patty were obtained from the McDonald’s website; sales data were obtained from the McDonald’s customer service.

Results: Consuming 100 billion McDonald’s beef burgers versus the same company’s McVeggie burgers would provide, approximately, on average, an additional 550 million pounds of saturated fat and 1.2 billion total pounds of fat, as well as 1 billion fewer pounds of fiber, 660 million fewer pounds of protein, and no difference in calories.
Conclusions: These data suggest that the McDonald’s new McVeggie burger represents a less harmful fast-food choice than the beef burger.

Link to pdf of first page.

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