Ronald McDonald must be smiling from ear to maniacal ear after reading a truly bizarre new report from the York University School of Kinesiology & Health Science.
In the York study, assistant professor Jennifer L. Kuk says obese people who are otherwise healthy live just as long as their slim counterparts. And, get this, Kuk's study showed otherwise healthy obese people are even LESS likely than lean people to die of cardiovascular disease! Who funded this research, White Castle?
Dr. Kuk hypothesized that “…trying and failing to lose weight may be more detrimental than simply staying at an elevated body weight and engaging in a healthy lifestyle that includes physical activity and a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables.”
Now, hold on there, partner. If an obese person engages in a healthy lifestyle that includes physical activity and a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables, he'd no longer be an obese person! What am I missing here?
I don't buy Kuk's premise for one minute (or calorie, for that matter). In fact, I'd point her to an equally obtuse, just-released study from a slightly better known institution: Yale University's School of Medicine.
In that study, Yale's Dr. David L. Katz determined that people who watch six hours of television a day lose a full five years off their life. Why? Surprisingly, it's not the horrific programming. Instead, says Katz, a couch potato's lifestyle leads to “…a greater risk for obesity and the chronic diseases it tends to anticipate, notably diabetes, heart disease and cancer.” Put that in your Whopper with extra cheese and smoke it, Dr. Kuk.
Still, if Kuk can find a silver lining in obesity, I have to believe she'll be swamped with corporate funding offers from such merchants of death as R.J. Reynolds. I could see them paying her a cool (Kool?) mil to say smoking two packs of cigarettes a day actually improves one's heart and lung functions. And, I wouldn't be surprised to see Dos Equis underwrite a Kuk study that says downing a case of their swill once a week will enhance liver functions.
The sky's the limit for a woman who I'd label as the mad professor of death.
But, hey, if things don't work out for you at York University, Dr. Kuk, I know a great, new place for you to settle down: Evansville, Indiana. I'll bet the town fathers would welcome you with open arms and expanded waistlines. Heck, they'd probably even insist on building the "Jennifer L. Kuk Center for the Advancement of Obesity."
And a tip o' RepMan's hat to Sir Edward Aloysius Moed and Greg Schmalz for this idea.