Meet Josh, a brand new baby boy. Even though he looks to be in onepiece (and pretty cute too), what he doesn’t realize is that his little bodyis home to billions of workshops that work together to keep him alive
These little workshops are called cells, and your body as well as Josh’s contain an uncountablenumber of them. If you ate 33 million chocolate bars every day for your whole life, you would STILLnot have eaten as many chocolate bars as you have cells! It seems like you should be gigantic if youhave all those cells, but really cells are more than a thousand times smaller than a grain of salt! Andthe “workers” in each cell are even smaller than that!
Hey Manny! This is Manny, the mitochondria. There is aManny in every one of Josh’s and Evelyn’s body cells. “Well, it’s not easy, and I need the rest ofManny is strong, and he is the top worker of the cell. He my cell, and even other cells to help me out! All of the food that Josh eats has tomakes all the energy that Josh needs to stay alive and be broken down to something a littleactive. How do you do it Manny? more simple, called a molecule, before I can get at it! Even the biggest hamburger in the world is made up of many of the molecules that I need. Molecules are even smaller than I am, so I can easily use them to make energy that your body needs!”
Josh is a smart guy, but he has no clue about all the Manny’sin his body, working to keep him going.
As Josh gets older, he realizes, “Hey, there’s a lot of greatfood out there! I love ice cream, cookies and chips, and Ilove the computer and T.V!”
I wish that Josh would realize that he’s hurting me!When Josh eats a lot of ice cream and otherfoods, I have a much harder time breaking themdown into the molecules Manny needs! Plus, healways eats until he is really full, and so myManny’s have to turn a lot of molecules intoenergy fast! I’m working overtime, and just likewhen your parents work overtime, when I have todo lots of work fast I don’t do it as well as Inormally do! Rushing doesn’t suit me ” What Josh doesn’t realize is that many of the things that make him feel good don’t make his cells feel so great
What happens if the Manny’s in Josh’s cells have to work overtime? Josh still doesn’t know what’s going on in his body. He just knows that he’s getting Josh feels the results bigger, and it’s making him feel embarrassed around his friends. The bigger he gets, the less that he wants to go out and play.
Let’s see what Manny has to say: “I’m so tired! I never get a break, and I’m starting to wear out. When I have too many molecules to turn into energy, they start to build up. I can’t deal with them all, so I have to send them to be stored until I can get around to it. That storage is called fat. I still try my best though, and the more I work, the more chances of me making mistakes. Sometimes, instead of making energy for Josh, I accidentally make molecules that can hurt him. They can damage my cell in many ways, and if there are too many of them, my cell could die, or cause problems for other cells! I’m very worried, but I can’t find a way to tell Josh that what he’s doing may feel good, but it’s hurting me!”
Every once in a while, Josh doessomething that makes both he andI feel great. That thing is exercise.When Josh has gym class, or playswith his friends, he feels greatafterwards, and so do I! In fact,when Josh exercises, it allows me tomake more mitochondria friends tohelp me do all my work! The moreJosh exercises, the stronger that weget, and we become better atdoing our jobs. That means lessmistakes for me, and less dangerfor my cell and Josh
One day while on the computer, Josh comes across a website that explainsall about Manny and about the effects of his decisions on his body
Even though he knows it won’t all be smooth sailing, Josh decides to make a change. By cutting out all of the junk food that he eats and playing games with his friends, Josh is finally able to be a kid again. By making healthy habits now, Josh is setting him and Manny up for a lifetime of happiness. Great work Josh!