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Med J Aust. 2013 Dec 16;199(11):805-6.

The hobbit - an unexpected deficiency.

Author information

1
National Institute for Health Research Biomedical Research Unit, Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Foundation Trust and Imperial College London, London, UK. n.hopkinson@ic.ac.uk.
2
National Institute for Health Research Biomedical Research Unit, Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Foundation Trust and Imperial College London, London, UK.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Vitamin D has been proposed to have beneficial effects in a wide range of contexts. We investigate the hypothesis that vitamin D deficiency, caused by both aversion to sunlight and unwholesome diet, could also be a significant contributor to the triumph of good over evil in fantasy literature.

DESIGN:

Data on the dietary habits, moral attributes and martial prowess of various inhabitants of Middle Earth were systematically extracted from J R R Tolkien's novel The hobbit.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Goodness and victoriousness of characters were scored with binary scales, and dietary intake and habitual sun exposure were used to calculate a vitamin D score (range, 0-4).

RESULTS:

The vitamin D score was significantly higher among the good and victorious characters (mean, 3.4; SD, 0.5) than the evil and defeated ones (mean, 0.2; SD, 0.4; P < 0.001).

CONCLUSION:

Further work is needed to see if these pilot results can be extrapolated to other fantastic situations and whether randomised intervention trials need to be imagined.

PMID:
24329673
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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