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 Finnish research group discovers a new immune system regulator
23.02.2018 | University of Turku

nachricht Minimising risks of transplants
22.02.2018 | Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg

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: Attoseconds break into atomic interior

A newly developed laser technology has enabled physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (jointly run by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics) to generate attosecond bursts of high-energy photons of unprecedented intensity. This has made it possible to observe the interaction of multiple photons in a single such pulse with electrons in the inner orbital shell of an atom.

In order to observe the ultrafast electron motion in the inner shells of atoms with short light pulses, the pulses must not only be ultrashort, but very...

Im Focus: Good vibrations feel the force

A group of researchers led by Andrea Cavalleri at the Max Planck Institute for Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) in Hamburg has demonstrated a new method enabling precise measurements of the interatomic forces that hold crystalline solids together. The paper Probing the Interatomic Potential of Solids by Strong-Field Nonlinear Phononics, published online in Nature, explains how a terahertz-frequency laser pulse can drive very large deformations of the crystal.

By measuring the highly unusual atomic trajectories under extreme electromagnetic transients, the MPSD group could reconstruct how rigid the atomic bonds are...

Im Focus: Developing reliable quantum computers

International research team makes important step on the path to solving certification problems

Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Basque researchers turn light upside down

23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Finnish research group discovers a new immune system regulator

23.02.2018 | Health and Medicine

Attoseconds break into atomic interior

23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>