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September 13, 1930


JAMA. 1930;95(11):799. doi:10.1001/jama.1930.02720110035012

A distinguished American physiologist has recently reported the results of painstaking investigations that demonstrate clearly how little energy is consumed, in terms of requisite food fuel, during the progress of an hour's intensive intellectual effort. The added calory need for such an effort does not exceed the contribution supplied by a single oyster cracker or half a peanut. In striking contrast with this is the demand for fuel created by the muscular work of man. The production of 600 calories an hour is probably in the neighborhood of the highest possible maximum of human physical capacity for sustained effort.9 This is true regardless of the type of work done. It has been exemplified by a champion bicycle rider, a long-distance runner, an expert mountain climber and a capable swimmer. It is furthermore important to remember that by a reduction of body weight one may economize in the amount of

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