Posted by: The Amoeba | April 28, 2009

Is This What They Mean By ‘Marbled Meat’?

david002-284x300The other day, blogger buddy Thom discovered the fat version of Michelangelo’s famous statue of David. Yes, that David. The one who slew Goliath and became King of Israel, in the process putting the neighbors into a snit over his occupation of the West Bank.

I tracked the original image back to an advertising campaign for the German Olympic Sport Federation, back in November 2007. The message of that campaign was, “If you don’t move, you get fat.” Sometime during 2008, the tale surfaced in the blogosphere that the original ‘David’ made a two-year tour of American museums, and returned to Italy in its (ahem) enlarged state.

Man. You don’t want to mess with the American diet, if Big Macs can turn even solid rock into the Pillsbury Doughboy. No, folks, I mean the marble, not the abs. We all know already what Big Macs can do to abs.

The “American obesity epidemic” moral is clear, and there have to be a million places on the Web where you can read all about it. But not here. Because, when I saw “fat David”, a number of thoughts came to mind that did not drive me to my nearest health-food profiteers outlet, despite my increasingly uncanny resemblance to the, er, revised version of the statue.

The professor, for instance, who, he told me, had complete confidence that, in the event of a famine, he would outlive me (I was much skinnier in those days), because of his ability to store fat during times of plenty.

The island cultures that value stouter women, and praise the husband who can keep his spouse heavy as the best possible provider – because he had protected his family, in the best available way, against times of dearth.

The Venus figurines of antiquity, most of which portray women whom we now would label as morbidly obese – perhaps because they were well-enough nourished to deliver and nurse healthy babies.

To be sure, the health risks that we now associate with being overweight are unlikely to have been any different in the past. However, you may have noticed that most of these risks – heart attack, stroke, atherosclerosis, diabetes, respiratory distress, certain cancers – are expressed in people over the age of 50. Through most of human history, the person who survived the various wars, diseases, accidents, birthings of children, and (most particularly) famines long enough to reach the 35th birthday had already attained a ripe old age. The elder who died at 55 of a coronary was a veritable Methuselah.

Which means that, for the five (out of seven) billion of us who have reasonably ready access to the appropriate technologies (have you thanked a scientist today?), we obsess over scales and body mass indices, and shower money on multibillion-dollar medical, diet, and health-food industries …

… to combat a trait that has evolved in humans over millions of years to confer a survival advantage.

Yes I will have fries with that. Small.

  – O Ceallaigh
Copyright © 2009 Felloffatruck Publications. All wrongs deplored.
All opinions are mine as a private citizen.



  1. as an American, I’d recommend some kind of surgical procedure, rather than just trying harder to control your food intake

  2. Hold the Big Mac. Get my burger at Wendy’s please!

  3. Davis, I’m sure you’ll be getting a note soon from the AMA, thanking you for your support of the BMW payments of America’s needy liposuction specialists.


    Haven’t you heard, Q? Wendy’s is now owned by Arby’s. The world will never be the same.

  4. I’ll thank you for sure. And make mine large all the way around…I can’t be bothered with a scale. I do what I want to do when i want to do it and however I look oh well…that’s just me 🙂

  5. Well since a scientist said it, it must be true. lol

    I like the “have you thanked a scientist today” slogan. It’s just that they are so hard to find.

  6. Thom, that’s a healthy philosophy. And I’m sure that Burger King would agree with it. 😉

    Yeah, Cooper (and thanks), the species is a little more scarce than it oughta be. And that’s just counting the members of the professional societies. No, wait, I didn’t just write that, did I …? 😉

  7. […] Lincoln’s Bum Rush As I wrote yesterday, the fat version of Michelangelo’s David has been getting a bit of internet attention […]

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