by Anne Laing and Tim Bean

Some little-known, but important, facts

We all tend to take our bodies for granted. Below are just a few facts you may not know.

  • To gain half a kilogram (one pound) of body fat you would have to eat around 3,500 calories more than you need. This represents just seven small chocolate bars and seven small bags of crisps.
  • You would need to do 250,000 sit-ups to burn half a kilogram (one pound) of fat.
  • Each half a kilogram (one pound) of fat contains around 1,000,000,000 (one billion) fat cells and every new pound of fat you make requires nearly three miles of new blood vessels to support it.
  • Increase lean muscle by one kilogram (two pounds) and you will burn 100 extra calories a day, even if you did nothing else different.
  • Obesity is almost never genetic – in over 90 per cent of cases it is environmental.
  • It is a misconception to blame being overweight on having a large skeleton. The skeleton of an average body weighs only about 13 kilograms (29 pounds).
  • The body is extremely busy on a subconscious level processing approximately one billion messages per second, pumping blood on its journey through 62,000 miles of arteries, capillaries and veins per day, and every second constantly destroying and replacing millions of skin, liver, stomach, skeleton and brain cells.
  • 50,000 cells in your body will have died and have been replaced with new cells by the time you have read this page.
  • Most sedentary corporate men over the age of 50 years have more active oestrogen in their systems than a 25-year-old female.