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Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Recession Diet


The recent economic meltdown has negatively impacted millions of lives around the globe. Here at home, unemployment levels have reached an 80-year high, and Americans are losing their homes to foreclosure at a record pace. Spirits are at an all-time low…and not coincidentally, so are our cholesterol levels.

Yes, it seems as though there is indeed a silver lining amidst all the darkness. Due to inordinate amounts of stress, consumer anxiety, and a simple lack of funds, Americans are dining out less, entertaining less, and generally eating less overall these days, much to the delight of cardiologists everywhere. “Things haven’t been this good since the days of the breadlines,” said Dr. Mark Rosenberg, a cardiologist affiliated with the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan. “I’m seeing far fewer cases of what I like to call ‘FTOS’ Syndrome these days. You know, as in ‘Fat Tub of @%&#.’”

Dr. Kevin Luks, a prominent pediatrician with offices dotted across Rhode Island, took those sentiments one step further. “These days, even the kids are slimming down,” he said. “Once upon a time, my practice was nothing more than a parade of roly-poly little punks. But now, I’m seeing a lot less girth out of these snot-nosed little bastards, and I sincerely doubt that it’s the result of an improved exercise regimen, if you get my meaning.”

However, an informal poll of shoppers at a local Walmart showed that, while a tightening of the purse strings has indeed led to a tightening of belts, most Americans are none too pleased by the development. “Who the hell has money for snack cakes,” ranted one disgusted shopper, who identified herself only as “Milly from Philly.” “I’m just trying to keep my lights turned on,” she continued, “even if I no longer get as winded when I climb a flight of stairs.” Tanya Stubblefield, another local shopper, offered a different take. “Sure, I know times are tough, and I can see the stress taking its toll on my husband,” she said. “But I’ll tell you what, I haven’t looked forward to summer this much since I was a teenager, because I am gonna rock that bikini on the beach this year. Look out world!”

One area of consumption which has proven to be somewhat recession-proof has been alcohol consumption, which, perhaps not surprisingly, has been up 30 to 40% in some areas over the last eighteen months, according to recent studies. “But it’s not like the Dom Perignon is flying off the shelves,” cautioned Brad Green, a local liquor store owner. “It seems like all I’ve been selling are gallon jugs of Wolfschmidt Vodka, Gordon’s Gin, and I can’t even keep enough cheap Pinot Grigio in stock.” In a related story, DWI arrests in the area have tripled over the same period.

DD (Vic Venom reporting)

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