Homer bad for you health

22 Mar

In an example of bad science, scientists are criticizing Homer's Simpson's diet:

HE WEIGHS in at somewhere in excess of 17 stone, has suffered several heart attacks and undergone triple heart bypass surgery. With his protruding belly, addiction to doughnuts and Duff beer and his fear of any form of physical exercise, Homer Simpson is nobody’s idea of a figure of good health.

Unfortunately, the message appears to have gone over the heads of the health police. They want him to change, cut down on the fatty snacks and eat some pasta. It’s not going to go down well with the Atkins people, but they appear to be serious.

A team of researchers from New Jersey’s Rutgers University ploughed through 63 episodes of the hit cartoon show to analyse what sort of a health message it was sending out. Failing to see the joke, they were unimpressed.

"Fats, sweets and alcohol, particularly beer, doughnuts and salty/fatty/snacks accounted for 52 per cent of all foods eaten in this programme," their report said. "Homer was also portrayed eating food more often (he alone accounted for 21 per cent of all actions showing food being eaten) and ate greater quantities than other characters."

The researchers appear not to have considered the possibility that viewers might associate the general unattractiveness of characters such as Barney and police chief Wiggum – Homer’s fellow beer and doughnut guzzlers – or that the most successful character is Montgomery Burns, a 104-year-old multi-millionaire who rarely drinks and would never stoop so low as to enter a fast food outlet.

Instead, the academics, led by Professor Carol Byrd- Bredbenner, concluded that 40 per cent of the health messages in the programme – which also portrays Homers’ chain-smoking sisters-in-law as lonely spinsters with voices like sandpaper – ran counter to the best advice of the medical profession.

I guess I will stop my doughnut diet now.

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