Food Consumption: Who Eats More?

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Updated on Nov 20, 2012

Do you ever notice how often you get hungry? You have a big appetite -- you're a growing kid after all -- but how do you think your appetite compares to an adult? Sure, most adults are a lot bigger than you, but in this experiment you're going to test the percentage, or number out of a hundred, of food you eat compared to body weight. Need proof that this science is pretty spectacular? While a cow could crush a little mouse, the percentage of food a mouse eats compared to its body weight is actually almost fifty times higher!

So grab an adult (preferably one a lot taller than you) and get testing. You may be surprised at the results.

Problem:

Who eats more food, a kid or an adult?

Materials:

• 2 pens
• 2 notebooks
• Digital weighing scale

Procedure

1. To start out, you'll need to find the weight of both you and your adult volunteer. Make sure both of you remove your shoes before taking turns to step on the digital weighing scale.
3. Explain to your adult that both of you will have to weigh everything you guys eats for a single day. An easy way to do this is to weigh a plate first before weighing the plate and the food together. You can then subtract the weight of the plate and get the weight of the food. (Putting food directly on a scale probably wouldn't be a good idea).
4. Make sure both you and your volunteer have a notebook and a pen so that you each can easily record how much your food weights throughout the day.
5. Think about your own appetite. Do you think it will ever change as you get older? Why would it stay the same or change?
6. Think about the question of this experiment:: who eats more food, a kid or an adult? Write down your guess, or hypothesis, in your notebook.
7. At the end of the day, compare your volunteer's notebook with your own.
9. Take the total weight of your food and divide it by your weight. Write that number down in your notebook.
10. Do the same thing with the weight of the food your volunteer consumed.
11. Multiple your number and your volunteer's number by 100 to give you a percentage.
12. Whose percentage is higher?

Results:

You should have consumed a higher percentage of food than your adult volunteer.

Why?

Kids have a higher rate of metabolism. Metabolism is the human body's way of breaking down food and turning it into energy. The younger you are, the faster your metabolism works. Your body quickly uses the food you feed it before demanding more -- that's why you sometimes can get hungry only a couple of hours after a meal! However, as humans age, metabolism slows down. A big reason for this is because adult bodies don't need to grow anymore, unlike kids.

What if you did the same experiment, but only compared boys to girls? There are so many things you can try, and you would be surprised to find out the answers. Keep guessing and keep experimenting!