Six scientists swallowed the heads of Lego figures to find out how long it would take them to poop. I’m just glad to see that science is finally ready to tackle the big questions, to be honest.
Yes, although it may sound like a joke – children’s healthcare professionals are indeed deliberately swallowing little Lego heads in a study titled: Everything is great: Don’t forget Lego.
Surely there’s no danger of forgetting it as you patiently wait for it to reappear in the toilet bowl?
An incredibly serious and very important study published in the Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health used two scoring systems: Stool Hardness and Transit, or SHAT, and Found and Retrieved Time, or FART.
Honestly, that’s what they were called. The SHAT scores were actually split into two pre-SHAT scores, which recorded the researchers’ normal bowel habits, and SHAT scores, which were recorded after the Lego head was swallowed. SHAT scores before and after were compared and data collected.
The FART score, meanwhile, was a little more grim — if you can imagine — and required participants to sift through their poo in the days after ingestion in hopes of finding a little yellow head.
And while the whole thing might sound like a bit of a joke – and it was probably quite difficult for the researchers to explain to their loved ones – the study had a serious purpose.
As parents of young children can attest – youngsters love to eat things not designed to be eaten, sometimes with very dangerous consequences.
Accidental or intentional ingestion of Lego usually results in a good outcome, but for parents’ peace of mind, our heroic researchers set out to find out how long it takes for a Lego head to pass through someone’s digestive system.
So what did our intrepid scientists find?
Well, according to the study, FART scores averaged 1.71 days – meaning that typically a Lego head was out of the body in less than two days.
Summarizing their findings, the team wrote: “The toy passes quickly through adult subjects without complications. This reassures parents, and the authors argue that no parent should be expected to examine their child’s stool to prove the objects have been found.” Good point, well done.