Hapless Horizon completely crapped out of Atkinsí analysis

news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/3416637.stm

 

Iím a grumpy old git, getting on geriatric even, so maybe thatís why Iím increasingly irked by Beeb blunders across the board and especially Toady tossers (meldrewisms below) but Hutton excepted ~ Iím with 90% on the whitewashed side of that fence! Horridzon 22jan04 was as appalling as any endured for potty punditry soft-sold as showcased pseudoscience. Nutritionists admittedly arenít noted for thermodynamic insight but abusing the First Law by failing to distinguish between closed and open systems is so exceedingly erroneous that even the weakest of first year engineering students would be embarrassed by such an elementary exception!

I just googled the transcript and sure enough thereís not even a hint of awareness that energetic openness of the digestive process must be upwards 50%. It must be because as I recall the linchpin factor for design of sewage plants is 80 gram dry weight crapped per person per day, or (at least) 250 gram (10 ounce) wet weight (sounds about right, largish juicy steak) ~ so with 100Cpo (Cal per ounce) being an adequate approximation of energisability from fatty / sugary foods that means around 50% of a sedentarily sensible daily intake (2000Cpd) goes straight down the pan. As back-checksum (sadly dying if not dead doodle in todayís teaching / training) note that 100Cpo carries over to carbonaceous energisers like fuel ~ consider that 100kW engine at 100kph burns it at 10Lph (10kpL) and 10kWh/L approximates to 10Cpg = 250Cpo ďdryĒ weight, same as for energetically carbonaceous food / fuel.

This simple sensible starter (cf Beeb blather) suffices to show that crap variability alone accounts for most / much of the weight variability seen in the population ~ moreover is nicely consistent with old adages like ďgoes straight throughĒ and ďnever touches the sidesĒ although god forbid the Beeb would ever risk its scientific credentials by adopting adages when anecdotes are inadmissible to their high priesthood of philosophical pointlessness. I have no idea what is the actual variation in crappability but recalling biological fickleness (I was once into biotech games) can well believe it wonít be less than 50% (5 ounces) either way, meaning 500Cpd either way which almost alone explains excursions in obesity.

Thermodynamically then, if it ainít dumped itís accumulated at about same rate and 5opd is 10 pounds monthly. Probably no coincidence that slimming clubs pitch their pupils at a safe target of a few pounds weekly, also in same spirit that problems portrayed in gross obesity need many months to restore proper proportionality via starvation supply. If 2000Cpd intake suffices for sedentary style of 50% crappers (ie net 1000Cpd stable state utilisation), then a 33% crapper gets fat on anything more than 1500Cpd whilst on the other side a 66% crapper needs 3000Cpd just sitting still! Mind you dumping 2000Cpd means crapping 20opd and that really is a panful ~ but only to be expected from greedy gorging, seeing as an extra 1000Cpd equates to a 10 ounce steak or 5 pints beer and that a daily top-up! Everyone knows someone on either side of this lavatorial fence ~ indeed, my two kids are on opposite sides of it although thank god not 33-66 extremes.

Okay, so crapping holds the key and itís no coincidence that anorexics endure gruesome ghastlies like intestinal irrigation in search of skeletal slimness ~ shovelling the stuff out surely stimulates its passage so thereís less left for fat formation. Moreover, kinetics must also play their preordained part in this process ~ meaning mechanistically (thermodynamically even!) that sharpening of productive gradients invariably increases productive fluxes always in accordance with the Second Law even! Kinetics canít be ignored, indeed they probably dictate why carbohydrates are so crucifying because sugary stuff is metabolised much quicker than crap is created, so it probably also catalyses conversion of slower stuff ~ indeed as implied also by the unarguable achievements of Atkinsí own code which so strictly prohibits one and promotes tíother.

Of course itís all substantially subtler than this simple schema, plausibly with sugary stuff stimulating stomach enzymes whilst possibly also sourcing secretions than slow transit into the intestine. Sophisticated speculation is unsuited to my amateur approximation but thereís no denying that realities are reflected in the simple sums above and there really isnít any challenging conundrum nor expert explanation needed to explain obesity or Atkinsí attrition of it. The tagline is a tough one though seeing as sensible strategies should select for crapability and its pro-motion! Loading up your linings with laxatives sounds savagely scouring, almost as awful as intestinal irrigation. Fibres may be fine for a few but their advocates are almost always pungently puritanical, often as not ex-smokers obsessed with castigating unreformed addicts (like me).

Exercise of course accesses an effective but excruciating escape, certainly if it entails sustained sacrifice of 30 minutes daily ďbriskingĒ as ardently advocated by Bliar-babeís tedious Tessa ~ I bet she doesnít do it daily because of busyness, or rather busybodyness on coercive correctness campaigns making up meaningless mantras like ďsmoking killsĒ, ďspeed killsĒ with perhaps ďlife killsĒ pipelined to appear as terminal truism. Anyway, thatís all from me for now by way of introductory insight on crap is a credible closure on the consumption side of the eating equation ~ although I canít resist adding closing comments evaluating exercise in similar style on the expenditure side.

Again we need a sensible starter and for me (as an ex-aeroman as well as ex-bioman) cycling supplies the easiest estimator to set these scales. As premise then suppose 20mph (10m/s) is about as much as a racer can stand for extended intervals (eg TdF) so with drag area about 1m2 that means about 500W sustained output. Upwards of 30mph pushes the power to 1500W or so which Olympians can maintain only for shortish intervals ~ unsurprising as itís about 2HP and thatís a fit horse! Dropping to 15mph brings the power down to 200W or so, manageable by fit club cyclists for substantial periods.

So thatís my metric then deduced on the basis of a cubic power law for cycling, sufficing also to draw distinction between burst capacity of 100Cal or so (1Wh=1Cal or so; below) as a matter of minutes at 1500W or so against stamina capacity of a few 1000Cal as hours of agony at 500W, this in turn around 4 times as much as mere mortals might manage to maintain (100W over 10h for 1000Cal or so) if fundamentally fit (ie healthy but not athletic). For simplicity round these numbers to 1600W, 400W and 100W as ambulatory equivalents in sprinting, running and jogging ~ sustainable say for endurances corresponding to miles in about 3, 6 and 12 minutes, say roughly Olympian to 1500m, County to marathon and sustainable jogging or what I used to know as Scoutís pace, alternate running and walking over I think 400 yard intervals.

Crude of course and note also utilises quadratic power law meaning aero drag neglected compared with heart-lung-muscle work. But at least it sets a scale for exploring exercise energy in same spirit as above for eating energy, about 1000Cpd net for standard sedentary style crappers. By a quirk of unitary definitions (4200 J/C, 3600 sph), 1W = 1Cph for present purposes and accuracy, so making a 10% inroad on 1000Cpd intake needs energy expulsion of 100C daily and thatís a heck of a lot of exercise at least at first sight. Tessaís 30 minutes of brisking, maybe 18 minute miles say 50W or so in the present portrayal, extracts only 25Cal and so hardly scratches the standard surface never mind denting it. Worse still it takes Ĺ hour every day and thatís unaffordable, at least according to how we (are taught to) think about time ~ although of course if East-Enders is unmissable for 25% of the population (would you believe it?) then the real reason ainít busyness but more likely boredom, traffic, pointlessness or a blend of these and other excuses, most definitely excuses so long as E-E remains unmissable although god forbid I should ever expose myself to that brain-blocker.

Even 100W (12 minute miles) jogging doesnít help much unless itís done for an hour and even gut-wrenching 200W (9 minute miles) still needs that impossibly elusive Ĺh. In any case this street scene stuff will always be too embarrassing for other than extreme extroverts to embark on public performances of personal persecution, certainly when starting from scratch and probably puffed to oblivion in a matter of minutes ~ nightmare recollections of hordes of geriatric widows wending their ways along the breakfast boardwalks on Miami Beach ~ ugh! ~ and me likely no better than them on endurance! So if privacy is paramount and / or biking just not on as an accelerant alternative to jogging (reasons above) that leaves not much more than a gym or gear at home, neither serious solutions for an introverted old meany like me ~ the gym being about as public a persecution as its possible to perceive!

Then I had my Eureka event on this side of the equation ~ or rather it was reawakened from an era long since gone when I exercised at home as prelude to skiing holidays shared with all those fit gits who played rugby ten times a month or more. Step-ups, repetition routines of singles, were always about as good as anything else in getting me moving enough to survive 8 hours a day en piste, including even madness moments on black runs so as not to disappoint my lad as an impressionable kid. What makes step-ups so effective of course is vertical elevation working against weight and in the present perspective particularly pertinent in possessing proportionality between energy expenditure and excess availability from flab! Lifting 100kg through 20cm twice a second expresses 400W, nominally 8 times more than brisking but more like 12 (600W) taking into account the rapid locomotion itself ~ so only 3 minutes is needed to extract upwards of 30Cal and 10 minutes to shoot 100 Cal in 3 or 4 such sessions.

Busyness canít ever excuse escaping 10 minutes torture (the agony maybe but not the time), not for anyone, but even so this simple discipline still eluded me until I hybridised into a prerequisite precursor to peeing and made it a tad less tiresome by shifting its setting to the stairs ~ in my case at home, my base since being academically amputated as a recalcitrant refusenik on stealthed simplifications to the syllabus simply so as to sustain slush from foundation fodder.As an extra enticement I found that doing the 15 of them in arithmetic regression (15, 14,13, etc) in all 120 up and 120 down, each trip targeted on 2 minutes and invariably achieved for fear of peeing my pants! Within a week it became a routine ritual in a way that brisking or jogging never had or could have been and over the past month (yes it was a ridicule resolution prompted by rude remarks about compression in a compact car) itís dawned on that Iím puffed to puking not so much because 25Cal or so is actually my current capacity but rather that my thermodynamic efficiency is probably only 25% or so of an Olympian doing his 1600W thing for about the same time as I can manage my 400W thing.

And thatís entirely plausible as a back-checksum ~ his overall thermodynamic efficiency is no more than 40% (burning carbonaceous fuel is never better ~ 2nd Law again) whilst mine is probably no more than 10% sadly rather less than Jamesí Watt managed 200 years ago! However if my ticker can take the trick itís doing a deal more for my pipes than any amount of brisking or jogging because doing 120 stairs in 120 seconds stimulates 120 beats per minute staying up thereabouts for another 120 seconds or so after each exertion ~ key point being that whilst itís up there Iím burning big-time calories on internal combustion even though Iím standing still peeing into the pan!

And this musing meander has helped to hammer home the massive margin between burst and stamina exertion or primary and secondary internal combustion ~ the former typified by Olympian burst capacity to around 100Cal (1500W for 4 minutes), the latter by Olympian stamina capacity significantly exceeding 1000Cals (400W for 2Ĺ hours). Brisking done in substantially sub-stamina mode never even begins to tickle capacity thresholds whereas stairing done substantially into burst-mode actually hits the limit after rescaling for impaired relative efficiency, lifting 20 Cal nominal or so to upwards of maybe 80. Hence my own mantra now ~ 120 in 120 for 120 prior to peeing down the pan persisting at 120 for 120, always aiming for three or more and never escaping less than two. Itís been the best bet I ever encountered for effective escape from sedentary sloth and it could be the answer for all actively able-bodied amateurs.

Of course I canít actually advocate anything for fear of falling foul of compensation claims from clowns who will inevitably take a tumble and I can vouch from firsthand familiarity that a top-to-bottom wipe-out adds to the excitement every bit as much as a black-run booboo ~ oh yes, or suffer cardiac arrest not yet, hopefully not ever. And if you who got far then donít forget that I also rationalised Atkinsí for its impact on obesity whereas the Beeb merely blundered and bluffed without ever getting any grip on the crappy core of their conundrum. Thanks for staying with me ~ maybe more to come, maybe not, and not for sure if I make the wrong move whilst in motion although peeing isnít a problem except for pointing percy properly at the porcelain whilst puffing and panting!

PS Just as Iím about to consign my commentary as webbage whatís arrived down my fax but an unsolicited (yet another despite all that privacy protection publicity) pitch to pay for a ďDiet When You CanĒ! Well, well ~ timely, topical and trashy as befits our perniciously promotional postmodernism! As another afterthought, itís also occurred to me that extreme exercising can catalyse crapping, at least in my case Iím up from 1dpd (dump per day) to 2 and even 3 after excess eating. So now Iím toying with thought that this thinning trick may well owe more to its teasing out double / treble whoppies than actual energy expenditure. After all, enhancing expulsion by only 20% (200Cpd) exceeds anything ever likely to be routinely removed in stomping stairs ~ so although the agony would still be unavoidable, having it act as an accelerant would enormously amplify its acceptability! Just another mechanistic meander that the experts should surely have explored and evaluated had they produced a professional portrayal for Percy Public ~ and like all else, itís amenable to elementary examination for correlational confirmation.