THE STOMACH AND GUTS
This is an article from the May 1, 1995 issue
Gulp! What happens to that slice of pizza after you swallow it?
When you eat food, your body turns it into energy. The amount
of energy in food is measured in calories.
An apple has about 125 calories and an ice cream cone has about
250 calories. The average 13-year-old takes in about 2,500
calories per day.
If you keep taking in more calories than you burn off, you'll
gain weight. Here are three foods most kids love:
-- A chocolate-chip cookie has 130 calories. You burn off that
many calories if you take a 34-minute walk or a 24-minute bike
-- A slice of cheese pizza has 300 calories. You could burn
them off with a 78-minute walk or a 56-minute bike ride.
-- A hamburger has 350 calories. You could burn them off with a
91- minute walk or a 66-minute bike ride.
DID YOU KNOW?
The average person eats about 60,000 pounds of food during his
or her lifetime.
After you have eaten, food can stay in your body up to two days.
The hardest foods for your body to break down are foods that
contain a lot of fat, such as ice cream and fried foods.
When you swallow, muscles push food down to your stomach. It is
possible to swallow while standing on your head!
Why is it bad for you to eat just before you go swimming?
Amy Bonilla, 10
Los Angeles, California
When you eat, your body sends extra blood to your stomach and
intestines. This extra blood helps you to digest the food. If
you swim or exercise right after eating, some of that blood goes
to your muscles instead of your stomach. You may end up feeling
too full and uncomfortable.
DOWN THE HATCH!
1. MOUTH: Grinds food into small pieces. Saliva (spit) helps
2. ESOPHAGUS: After you swallow, food passes through here and
reaches your stomach in about 10 seconds.
3. STOMACH: Mixes the food with strong juices that break the
4. LIVER: Sends a thick fluid to your small intestine to break
5. SMALL INTESTINE: (about 16 feet long) Here food is broken
down into nutrients that go into your bloodstream.
6. LARGE INTESTINE: (about four feet long) Indigestible parts of
food are stored here before leaving your body as waste.