Judy asked me this morning if I believed recent reports that suggest fat friends make a person fat. I told her that I’ve never given it much thought, though I’ve read much of the research into obesity that has come out in the last ten years. I’m a bit of an obesity skeptic. While many distinguished scientists have argued that obesity is caused by an overactive thyroid, and others say it’s caused by an idle metabolism, I think it’s more likely the result of an overactive mouth idling around cake shops. I know some of you will think it harsh of me to say this, given that I’m blessed with one of the most lust after bodies, but I believe in telling people the truth about their problems.
Since Channel4 have started to show the show in widescreen, I’ve often argued that we should have a Richard&Judy fat club, only for the producers to tell me that it would only make viewers turn off. I’ve suggested a more TV-friendly alternative would be liposuction, which happens to celebrate its 50th birthday this year. Again, they hated the idea, even though things have moved on in the world of fat suction since the first machines (above) made their way into American surgeries and the operators had to stand in a different room in case of a blowback.
Today’s facts are to do with liposuction. Did you know, for instance, that the fat removed from bodies during liposuction has to be dumped into the open sea within 24 hours? Body fat left longer than that begins to separate into its constituent elements including nitrogen and glycerin and can, in the right circumstances, explode. In World War I, experiments were made using the rotting carcasses of animals to produce explosives. A mouldy badger was discovered to produce enough chemicals to fill an artillery shell which led to the French government starting a top secret project to breed overweight badgers for this very purpose. It was called off when a farmer attacked one of the badgers with a spade and the poor animal detonated, killing the farmer and leaving a forty foot badger shaped hole in the ground.