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Pepsi Classic
01-28-2004, 02:24 PM
Is it possible that I shit 5 pounds? I weighed myself before and after I shit and weighed 5 pounds less. What does the average bowel movement weigh?

Chimpy
01-28-2004, 02:30 PM
you know there's an easy way to find out... just make sure you clean the scales afterwards

Q.E.D.
01-28-2004, 02:46 PM
Five pounds seems like an awful lot for a single bowel movement. But, bear in mind that the accuracy of a typical home scale is not terribly good, generally. And the repeatablility, that is how well the instrument can measure the same object in successive trials, is also often rather poor, especially in analog spring-loaded scales. It's not unheard of for a typical bathroom scale to have a measurement error of +/- 2 pounds, even from one measurement to the next of the same person or object. If most of that is due to repeatability errors, it's conceivable that cconsecutive measurements could be off by as much as four pounds.

lieu
01-28-2004, 02:50 PM
Dude, people have smaller babies.

SandyHook
01-28-2004, 03:00 PM
Obviously an important question like this deserves a closer look.

My suggestion is a, "Poop Log." Weighing before and after over the next 8-10 weeks should yield more reliable data, at least the long term average should lie closer to the true, "Human Fecal Expulsion Number."

Of course there is also the associated, "Pee Factor," to consider. Whether or not you compine the two is up to you.

I trust you will keep us up to date.

NurseCarmen
01-28-2004, 04:12 PM
A good amount of that weight may well have been pee as well. Well, it could have been other bodily functions too. Just don't let us know what magazine you were reading, and if you haven't had sex in two years, k?

Colibri
01-28-2004, 04:34 PM
A good amount of that weight may well have been pee as well.

Given that a pint of water weighs about a pound, if you took a healthy whiz at the same time that could account for a good part of the weight.

Or perhaps your most recent meal included a substantial amount of buckshot.

I once lived in a group house. One of my housemates was a petite girl nicknamed, inappropriately enough, Moose. Another housemate, Henry, was a big, tall, powerfully built guy who probably weighed a duece and a quarter.

One day Moose came in beaming: "I lost five pounds in the last month!"

Henry's response: "Moose, I loose more than that every time I take a dump!"

terd_ferguson
01-28-2004, 09:49 PM
Between both bathroom activities I don't think 5 pounds is unrealistic. I know I have had movements where I feel significantly lighter and have left my pants fitting better afterwords.

Revtim
01-28-2004, 09:56 PM
Don't forget about the gas, too. Much like a full balloon weighs more than an empty one, a person is going to weigh less after ripping one off.

glilly
01-28-2004, 10:58 PM
Between both bathroom activities I don't think 5 pounds is unrealistic. I know I have had movements where I feel significantly lighter and have left my pants fitting better afterwords.

Figures, terd!

Meeko
01-29-2004, 12:00 AM
Thanks for the asides, but you all got me curious now. What is the answer to the the weight of excrement?

Ryle Dup
01-29-2004, 01:01 AM
Related question; whats the heaviest (largest?) shit measured in history?

dnooman
01-29-2004, 01:59 AM
Thanks for the asides, but you all got me curious now. What is the answer to the the weight of excrement?


There is no set density/weight for human feces. It varies. Many readings on home scales vary widely as well. I'll bet that your scale is to blame for the greater than average difference in readings. At my most anal "no pun intended", in my weight control days, poops seldom weighed even close to a pound. For the record, I ate freely (read:lots), and went once every other day or so.

I now have a scale that measures body fat percentage as well. Talk about widely varying results! If you take a shower, your BFP drops 4%! Either way, your poop probably didn't actually weigh 5 lbs. Even accounting for urine weight, 5lbs is a lot. Now, if you drank a half gallon of water right after eating a 3 lb burrito...a 5 pound difference is not unreasonable. But then, you shouldn't have been surprised.

umop ap!sdn
01-29-2004, 02:27 AM
What you really are trying to ask is whether you shat 5 pounds.

Your question requires nothing more than a little bit of math. I'd ask you to forgive me if this gets a little TMI but hey that's inevitable here anyway.

Okay, let's estimate the weight of the average BM. Shit is made mostly of water (cite (http://www.smellypoop.com/poop.html)) and therefore ballpark figure, it weighs about the same. Not being all that well versed in English volume units myself (:(!) I have to rely on Metric units. Water weighs 1 gram per cubic centimeter. The volume of a cylinder = pi R2 L where L is length in cm. If we assume an average diameter of 4 centimeters (this will vary from person to person), then by my calculations the average shit weighs about 1250 grams or 44 ounces per meter of length. Therefore, if you can relieve yourself of 6 feet of shit, you've lost about 5 pounds give or take.

Starbury
01-29-2004, 07:39 AM
Don't forget about the gas, too. Much like a full balloon weighs more than an empty one, a person is going to weigh less after ripping one off.

I'm pretty sure that Cecil wrote a column that said you actually weigh (very slightly) more after releasing gas. The column doesn't seem to be online...I'll have to check through the books to see if I can find it.

Trunk
01-29-2004, 07:53 AM
Don't forget about the gas, too. Much like a full balloon weighs more than an empty one, a person is going to weigh less after ripping one off.
Here's a simple experiment you can try to test this theory...

1) Stand up

2) Fart

3) Sniff

Is your fart lighter than air? I thought so.

The balloon analogy doesn't hold, I don't think. You exhale CO2. You fart some sort of methane, I THINK. Also, I'm not sure a full balloon does weigh more than an empty one. If it does, not by much.

Revtim
01-29-2004, 08:01 AM
The balloon analogy doesn't hold, I don't think. You exhale CO2. You fart some sort of methane, I THINK. Also, I'm not sure a full balloon does weigh more than an empty one. If it does, not by much.You may be right about the different gasses making a difference, but I'm sure a balloon filled with normal air weights more than an empty balloon. It's one of the classic science experiments for kids that provides an interesting unexpected result.

Mr Jim
01-29-2004, 08:05 AM
Related question; whats the heaviest (largest?) shit measured in history?


No cite (you try looking up "largest poo" on goggle ;) ) but I recall reading about a heroin addict who OD and in the autopsy they found a 25 lb piece of poop inside him as heroin makes you so terribly constipated.

jjimm
01-29-2004, 08:08 AM
If your scales only measure in pounds (e.g. if they're digital), you might only have shat just over four pounds - if you were, say, 160 lb 1 oz before, and your log weighed 4 lb 2 oz, then afterwards you'd be 155 lb 15 oz. Looks like 5 lb. Looks like shit too.

boofy_bloke
01-29-2004, 06:29 PM
The only thing to do is experiment! Empirical evidence!

Just make sure that you use the kitchen scales as they are more accurate for small amounts (up to a few kilos). Go on, mum won't mind as it's educational.

Starbury
01-30-2004, 08:53 AM
I'm pretty sure that Cecil wrote a column that said you actually weigh (very slightly) more after releasing gas. The column doesn't seem to be online...I'll have to check through the books to see if I can find it.

Ok, I found it. Its from More of The Straight Dope, p.380-381.

Here's what Cecil said:


Two of the principal components of flatus are hydrogen and methane, which are both lighter than air. Thus it is conceivable that when you deflate, as it were, you lose buoyancy and add poundage. On the other hand, it is not clear what the ambient pressure of gas in the intestines is -- a critical factor, since even a light gas under sufficient compression weighs the same as or more than air. Cecil offers the following proposition to the research community: you provide a practical expiremental design and a willing vict -- er, subject; I'll supply the beans.

Its been 15 years since that was written, so maybe someone has done further research on this.

Patty O'Furniture
01-30-2004, 09:28 AM
This Snopes article (http://www.snopes.com/toxins/fecal.htm ) suggests something about the weight of impacted feces removed from a man complaining of severe constipation:

In 1994, an Israeli man sought medical attention because he was suffering from severe constipation two days after having eaten a large quantity of pomegranates. He refused to allow doctors to adminster an enema, fled the hospital, and returned a week later in severe pain and bleeding from his rectum. This time the doctors operated to remove the impacted feces. How much fecal matter did they remove? Half a kilogram, or a little over a pound. Just one pound of impacted feces was causing extreme pain and rectal bleeding in this patient, but we're to believe that people can accumulate up to 80 pounds of the stuff without being aware of it?

So I have a hard time believing that all six pounds was due to solid waste. My guestimate:

Solid waste: .75 lbs
Liquid waste: .75 lbs
Perspiration from pushing too hard: .00001 lbs
Scale error: 4.49999 lbs

Spezza
01-30-2004, 11:05 AM
[QUOTE=Trunk]
Is your fart lighter than air? I thought so.
QUOTE]

I always thought it was just hot air rising. Are we sure that fart is lighter than air, and if so, why?

Starbury
01-30-2004, 05:06 PM
I always thought it was just hot air rising. Are we sure that fart is lighter than air, and if so, why?

Did you read my post (its just two posts above yours)? Let me quote myself quoting Cecil Adams:

Two of the principal components of flatus are hydrogen and methane, which are both lighter than air.

JSexton
01-30-2004, 06:00 PM
This Snopes article (http://www.snopes.com/toxins/fecal.htm )
Solid waste: .75 lbs
Liquid waste: .75 lbs
Perspiration from pushing too hard: .00001 lbs
Scale error: 4.49999 lbs

Reading yet another thread about poop: Priceless.

bobinheber
01-30-2004, 09:50 PM
http://www.poopreport.com/

Go crazy

spingears
01-30-2004, 10:01 PM
Depends to some extend on what you eat and how often you defecate.
Eat a lot and allow it to accumulate to FILL the bowel or lower intestine.
Weight the result(s) collect liquids & solids. Weigh on something a bit more accurate then run of the mill bathroom scales.
There is some risk of impacted bowels in doing such an experiment.
Caveat Emptor!

robo99
01-30-2004, 10:24 PM
There's a very good novel by Robertson Davies called The Rebel Angels in which one of the characters in it is a professor who studies shit. I highly recommend it.