Thursday, January 03, 2013

Pining for the gym

What's the noun from 'pine'? Whatever - I'm suffering from gym-pining. My voice is roughened, my head stuffed and my body suffused with lethargy. I am probably surrounded by a penumbra of germs. No, going to the gym would be a bad mistake.

I caught part of a stupid Channel 5 list programme, something about dieting fads. Number forty-something was going to the gym and catching MRSA or similar from the sweat-drenched handles of a weight machine or exercise bike. I was furtively looking up 'cotton gym gloves' when Clare discovered me and I was roundly abused as a 'Jesse': the shame.

In 'The Fast Diet' Dr Michael Mosely links obesity to cancer. The population statistics are compelling but what's the mechanism? Apparently, fat doesn't just sit there inertly, it causes chronic inflammation. This suppresses DNA repair processes which facilitates the production of cancerous cells.

Then, in a further twist, the immune system response we call inflammation is recruited by the tumour to improve its blood supply and even to facilitate metastasis. It's so not good to be overweight (he said with the zeal of the convert).