I read this comic: xkcd: The Race (Part 3), and felt the urge to shout "Cite your references!". No, the best things about The Sarah Connor Chronicles were: (1) watching Sarah and Cameron try to pass for normal, and (2) Cameron throwing people and things through walls.  Everything else was pretty secondary. Is it true? Does the average human consume their body weight in food in just over a month?

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    Well, I feel the urge to shout "Find a real notable claim!". xkcd in all honors, but it shouldn't count as notable. Commented Apr 17, 2012 at 21:18
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    Well... it does have some Nerd cred and you can expect people to cite stuff they read on xkcd, under the assumption that a sciency guy such as Randall would know what he's talking about.
    – Lagerbaer
    Commented Apr 17, 2012 at 21:24
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    Mr. Munroe's work does tend to be well-researched and thorough: xkcd.com/1040
    – Stu Pegg
    Commented Apr 17, 2012 at 21:25
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    I think, however, this is not something where you'd have to dig for sources. Just analyze your own eating habit and do a rough order-of-magnitude calculation. Asking Wolfram Alpha what 300 slices of toast and 300 slices of cheese weigh together, that'd give 15 kg, which is off by a factor between 4 and 5 for me.
    – Lagerbaer
    Commented Apr 17, 2012 at 21:28
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    easy to investigate: get a kitchen scale and get a before and after for ever bit plate of food you eat (add snacks) until you get to your own bodymass, now you have 1 data point convince 10,000 random people to do the same and you have a half-decent study Commented Apr 17, 2012 at 21:38

1 Answer 1


According to a study by the clinical nutrition centre of Addenbrokes Hospital, Cambridge, UK measuring the food consumed by a random sample of the population of a Cambridge village:

The average weight of food eaten per day (excluding drinks) was 1277 g

That would give a month's weight of food as around 38kg. That's less than the average weight of a person, by a factor of around 2. I would expect an average British person to be eating significantly more than the average for people worldwide. They could be eating less than the average for the US, but I doubt it is by a factor of 2.

So no the claim is not strictly true. But an error by a factor of two is actually pretty good for a web comic, and might be just a case of artistic license

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    Having visited America, I would say that portions being a factor of two larger is an underestimate; but a single holiday's eating is hardly representative. I was also going to mention that including drinks may top that up, but a quick estimate indicates that it would be considerably more. Thanks for your answer.
    – Stu Pegg
    Commented Apr 18, 2012 at 7:21
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    It also depends on the water content and energy density of the food you eat. For instance, I eat two salads per day with a total mass of about 1 kg. Add in snacks and an extra meal or two and I'm sure I eat at least 1.5 to 1.75 kg per day. Commented Sep 5, 2012 at 20:25
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    Americans eat a lot more, but Americans also weight a lot more. And the myth is about amount of food in relation to own weight.
    – vartec
    Commented Feb 7, 2013 at 9:53
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    To be fair, there is a joke in the claim. The Summer Glau figure says, "I eat my body weight in food every 31 days." She is a smaller than average person (52kg), so all she would have to do is eat 1677g a day.
    – JasonR
    Commented Jan 21, 2016 at 21:58
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    My 2 cents. She might be including liquids' weight in the daily eating, I guess that counting liquids the amount can easily increase by another 1500g Commented Aug 14, 2017 at 21:48

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