Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

How healthy is Bart’s heart?

11.11.2003


What would happen if you pitted Bart Simpson against his father Homer in a simple fitness test? You guessed it, Bart would come out of the test still standing, while Homer would be struggling for breath with his heart rate going through the roof. Young Scientist magazine, published by Institute of Physics Educational Publishing, is running a national investigation into school children’s activity levels. If Bart took part in this, he would have no problems. He obviously hasn’t been taking notes from his father, as Homer would not do nearly as well.



The Institute of Physics did some research into the Simpsons’ lifestyle. By watching videos of the cartoon and recording how much activity Bart and Homer do in the episodes, as well as how much they eat, Institute staff then worked out how fit and healthy they are.

The Institute found that obese Homer eats an average of about 130 grams of fat per day – most of it saturated, often coming from junk food – much more than his recommended 83 grams. On the other hand, Bart eats the right amount of fat per day: about 60 grams, although this includes rather more saturated fats than is ideal. Bart also does much more exercise than Homer, who drives to work, spends most of his day sitting (and eating donuts!) and watches television in the evenings. Bart’s frequent walking, cycling and skateboarding mean that he’s actually quite active, even though he sits in school for most of the day and does watch cartoons in the evening. He’s also growing which uses up a lot of calories.


Young Scientist magazine’s investigation into activity levels is being carried out in schools across the country between now and December so it’s not too late to take part. Children will be asked questions relating to how much activity they do in a day and they will also do an experiment to find out about their heart. Pupils will first take their resting pulse rate and then their pulse after two minutes of stepping up and down on a bench to discover how exercise affects their pulse rate. Weighing in at 109 kilograms compared to Bart’s 30, Homer would have done three and a half times more work over those two minutes than Bart, and so be more worn out, especially as he’s not used to exercising like this.

Young Scientist has some tips for the Simpsons for keeping their hearts in tip top shape, to improve their personal fitness and health. They should eat a balanced diet, so Homer should cut down on junk foods, and they should both eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day. Equally important is physical activity to exercise the heart. Bart should do about 60 minutes of exercise per day, which could mean playing sports or walking to school, and Homer should to do 30 minutes of exercise at least five times a week. According to the Institute’s research, Bart does about two hours of exercise per day (riding a bike, running around in the playground etc.), whereas Homer does not regularly exercise at all, except walking around a bit at work.

Professor David Wallace, long-time Simpsons fan and President of the Institute of Physics, said:

“Being a huge fan of the Simpsons, I’m pleased that Bart is fairly healthy, but I wouldn’t advise copying Homer’s lifestyle! I think we really do need an episode of the Simpsons in which Homer is pushed (unsuccessfully of course) into exercise, because Bart and Lisa have read about looking after themselves in Young Scientist! Young Scientist is a fun, cartoon style magazine which makes all areas of science interesting for school children, and the aim of this investigation is to show children how important it is to look after your heart, and how much fun it can be to exercise.”

The British Heart Foundation have sponsored and helped to develop this investigation into school children’s activity levels, and will be using the results as part of their research to find out how children’s actual activity compares to the recommended 60 minutes exercise per day.

Deborah Allen, Children’s Resource Manager at the British Heart Foundation, said:

“Homer’s current lifestyle is putting him at risk of developing coronary heart disease. He is physically inactive and eats a diet high in fats especially saturated fats, with little fruit and vegetables. Because Homer carries a lot of fat in his abdominal area he is at risk greater risk of developing coronary heart disease and diabetes. It is unlikely that Homer would be able to complete the exercise but if he did manage to complete it he would find it extremely strenuous.

“Bart is healthier than Homer because he is more physically active. He spends a lot of time riding his skateboard and bicycle and playing with his friends. Unfortunately Bart does spend too much time in front of the television. Thanks to the watchful eye of Marge, Bart’s diet is not as bad as Homer’s however he does eat a lot of sweet foods which are high in sugar. It is likely that Bart would complete the exercise, but if Bart wants to maintain his heart health he will need to spend less time watching TV and more time exercising.”

Teachers can log their class’s average test results online at http://www.crashbang.com/fitness, and then see how they compare to the national average. The results will be analysed in December, when Young Scientist will announce the most active – and the most inactive – region of the nation, as well as survey results on how much time on average children exercise per day and what kind of exercise is most popular.

There are still free activity packs available, so if your school wishes to take part in this investigation, please contact Young Scientist on telephone number 07805 100599, or request it online at http://www.educationalpublishing.com/teachers/.

Michelle Cain | alfa
Further information:
http://www.educationalpublishing.com/teachers
http://www.iop.org

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht World first: Massive thrombosis removed during early pregnancy
20.07.2017 | Universitätsspital Bern

nachricht Therapy of preterm birth in sight?
19.07.2017 | Universitätsspital Bern

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

Im Focus: On the way to a biological alternative

A bacterial enzyme enables reactions that open up alternatives to key industrial chemical processes

The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....

Im Focus: The 1 trillion tonne iceberg

Larsen C Ice Shelf rift finally breaks through

A one trillion tonne iceberg - one of the biggest ever recorded -- has calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, after a rift in the ice,...

Im Focus: Laser-cooled ions contribute to better understanding of friction

Physics supports biology: Researchers from PTB have developed a model system to investigate friction phenomena with atomic precision

Friction: what you want from car brakes, otherwise rather a nuisance. In any case, it is useful to know as precisely as possible how friction phenomena arise –...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

The technology with a feel for feelings

12.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA looks to solar eclipse to help understand Earth's energy system

21.07.2017 | Earth Sciences

Stanford researchers develop a new type of soft, growing robot

21.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Vortex photons from electrons in circular motion

21.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>