This just in: reading makes you thin!

Okay, maybe not really. But check out this study which suggests that heavy reading is correlated with a lighter frame. According to Fred Pampel, a sociologist at the University of Colorado, ” interest in ideas, art, and knowledge…is associated as strongly as exercise with a lower body-mass index”. Pampel looked at survey data for people in 17 different countries and found that less intellectual activities: card playing, socializing, watching tv and shopping correlated with a higher BMI than reading and other cultural pursuits.

Naturally there are a variety of ways to interpret the data. Perhaps the intellectually inclined are better educated about nutrition, and so make healthier eating choices. Maybe snobbish culture vultures look down on the overweight, resulting in peer pressure to stay thin. Or maybe all those reps of lifting War and Peace add up. Who knows? Could book clubs become the  health clubs of the future?

Lesley W.