Tuesday, November 22, 2011
New Studies: "Living in a City Makes You Fat, Infertile, Blind, Depressed & Even Causes Cancer." Well at Least I'm Cancer-Free, Baby!
Looks like I picked the wrong week to pitch a tent down at my local urban "occupy protest." Because according to a slew of new studies from America, Britain and Spain, I'd be well-advised to get the hell out of Cowtown and see if I can finagle one more road trip outta my '79 Dodge Ram and take up residence outside Hartsburg, Missouri, in the proverbial van down by the river.
According to the new studies, "urban living carries a significantly increased risk of chronic health disorders, such as  mental illness [well, yeah],  immune diseases [what are those, and does gout count?] ,  arthritis [does that account for an incessant shaking of the hands?] ,  heart disease [one too many White Castles] ,  cancer [see above], and  fertility problems [how the hell would I know?]." So, if I can verifiably scratch two, maybe three, calamities from that checklist, can I just call load of bunk on these studies?
Plus, the terms "mental illness" runs a pretty wide gamut. What the hell precisely are they speaking of? Well, the British study first reports that men in cities have a higher "incidence of schizophrenia." On that front, let's see: Regular life. Internet character. Nope, no schizophrenia here. Oh, hello schizophrenia.
Regardless, the same study also points to a higher occurrence in city dwellers of such mental disorders as "panic attacks, extreme phobias and obsessive-compulsiveness." Here again for me, we're talking a truly mixed bag: I have no such attacks except when I become panicked, have no such phobias except when I'm forced to leave the first floor, and have no such obsessiveness except when a breast or ass foists itself into my daily dalliances.
All of those things are beyond my control, of course. And although the studies also reference increased eating disorders amongst urban acolytes, I'm like Tony Montana over here: I never overeat, even when I pig out.
Meantime the new studies blame many culprits, such as a more frantic pace of life, for the tougher toll taken by city life. One further culprit is described as "heaving High Street shops." And while I've no clue what that means, I have been known to heave behind a Westport Road "shop" or two. But never in daylight, and never that I can remember for sure.
Finally, the linked story actually twice poses the question of whether cities should now come equipped with health warning labels, like some sort of drug or dangerous piece of machinery. I say go for it: Tack up a warning sign on every corner, lamppost and building in town. That would be sure to create some new shovel-ready government jobs and also give the garbage men something to clean up in case the occupiers ever go away.