03/28/2008 02:44 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

If You Like Gina Kolata, And Getting Caught In The Rain

2007-07-26-IfYouLikeGinaKolata.JPGBack when I was at FishbowlNY, I had a minor obsession with the NYT's crack health/science reporter, Gina Kolata, who consistently penned MEL-topping pieces that specialized in myth-blasting and bubble-bursting. Echinacea doesn't ward off colds! Yes, you actually can have too much water! Starting healthy habits now? Bwah! It's too late! Diets don't work! Pills might — but then again, they might not! Being overweight might actually be healthy — but not obese! But if you are, did we mention that you probably won't lose weight, anyway?

Anyhow, we were excited — but not surprised — to find out that the lovely Ms. Kolata was behind today's up-MEL-with-a-bullet piece on how obesity is actually contagious: "Study Says Obesity Can Be Contagious," to which any woman who's gone pizza slice for pizza slice with a live-in boyfriend can attest. Basically, it's birds-of-a -feather for fat people, with the use of the word "contagious" adding a little more drama even if it's not strictly accurate (it's not even as contagious as, say, the contagiousness of menstrual cycles for women in close proximity to each other). Nevertheless, feel free to blame your own burgeoning fatness on that fat friend who really does, as it turns out, have cooties. Principal study investigator Dr. Nicholas Christakis of Harvard Medical School suggests befriending a thin person to offset the fatness of you and your fat friend. Ha! Good luck finding a thin person who'd risk it after this study.

In any case, it was fun seeing Gina Kolata's name in lights again, especially now that it turns out that echinacea actually can ward off the common cold. Besides, pina colodas are bad for you, getting caught in the rain can give you a chill, and yoga probably lowers your immune system or something. But at least it doesn't make you fat!

Study Says Obesity Can Be Contagious
Gina Kolata's Good-Time Archive [NYT]

Gina Kolata: Everything you think you know is WRONG [FishbowlNY]

Less Related, But Still Tuneful:
The Pina Colada Song, Sung By Two Guys Lip-Syching In Their Dorm Room