25 July 2007

As if fat people need another reason to be feared and taunted

This just in: obesity is socially contagious! Yes, sir, stay away from fat people. Don't be friends with them, and if one of your friends--or worse even your spouse--starts to put on the gain, ditch them before you too fall victim to this spreading scourge.

From the New England Journal of Medicine, Vol. 357:370-379, July 26, 2007, No.4

A person's chances of becoming obese increased by 57% if he or she had a friend who became obese in a given interval. Among pairs of adult siblings, if one sibling became obese, the chance that the other would become obese increased by 40%. If one spouse became obese, the likelihood that the other spouse would become obese increased by 37%.
There are so many angles to take this story I don't even know where begin--"Now remember kids, don't talk to strangers or fat people." "I'm suin' my ex-wife fer chunkin' up and causin' my heart attacks." This might be the basis for discrimination against obesity in the work place. Hey, we can't smoke indoors, why would we let people of girth eat around us? That's just dangerous.

Maybe we'll see more studies showing that getting up early is contagious and jogging is addictive. Then it's just a matter of hanging out with the right crowd. Dark chocolate is officially health food now, so who knows.

On the other hand, if we could "cure" all obese people, maybe there would me no one left to catch fatness from...

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