Typewriting calories measured how?

Interesting column, but I’m curious as to how the US or Italian doctors mentioned could possibly measure caloric burn to 2 decimal places per minute in the 1950’s or even today?

That seems shockingly accurate to me.

I think they do it by measuring the amount of oxygen consumed. If you’ve ever seen a picture of a person on a treadmill with a hose in their mouth, that’s the sort of apparatus they use.

The postulate stated in the article strikes me as totally ridiculous based on my knowledge of diet and my experience with exercise.

They did that back in the 1950’s in Italy? Wow, I’m impressed.

But that’s really not measuring caloric burn, it’s measuring oxygen consumption as it correlates to caloric burn, correct? (Similar to a fitness watch that correlates heart rate to caloric burn?) Given that they’re measuring a correlational factor and not the factor itself how can they possibly state their conclusions so firmly and with such accuracy? It still seems ridiculous to me.

Lastly, I minored in stats in university and from what little knowledge remains in my head, I think that to get such firmly stated conclusions based on so little variance (two decimal places) it seems to me that they’d have a sample of 75 or more. That also strikes me as ridiculous.

I think the skepticism implicit in Cecil’s column is well-deserved but also very understated. That study is BS.