Almost a third of men are too darned scared to tell their women they need to lose weight, research reveals.
And can you blame them?
It is the most dangerous thing a man can say to a woman.
Our thighs might be thunderously large; our spare tyre swiftly inflating to three. But the ego, it is much tinier than it used to be (it’s one of very few things that shrink as a woman grows older).
There’s no need to tell us, anyway. I don’t know a fat woman who doesn’t realise she’s too big. Deep down beneath the whale blubber, we are acutely aware of the fact that we don’t look like we used to.
We do the jolly fat girl thing; make own-goal jokes about our size as we scoff another pie. But blokes should never be fooled; it’s body armour, an attempt to deflect. A bid to stop you telling us what we don’t want to hear... That you’ve noticed.
For while a woman knows full well she needs to go on a diet for the sake of her own health, let alone the sake of the jeans sitting forlornly in her cupboard, she fools herself into believing that you are so blinded by both love and her inner beauty, you either don’t see the size of her backside, or you don’t care about it because you love her just the way she is.
Well, they made a song about it, didn’t they?
Interestingly, though, this same piece of research from the National Obesity Forum points out that when the boot’s on the other foot, some 90 per cent of women have no problem with pointing out a partner’s porky belly.
That’s because women know best about a man’s health. Obesity can cause type 2 diabetes and heart disease, you know. And men are far less sensitive about everything anyway. Including the fact that they’ve got fat.
As chubbies male and female rub their fat hands in glee at the festive feast that awaits on Sunday, though, another bunch of food-obsessed folk will be dreading it. Some 21 per cent diet their way through Christmas Day.
It’s the one time of year when it’s OK to let the stays on your girdle go, but fear will control every festive morsel they put in their mouths.
There’s a happy medium, surely. Though it doesn’t include gorging on the latest artery-busting, calorie-laden treat to come out of Scotland.
The nation that gave us the deep-fried Mars Bar has invented battered, deep-fried butter balls.
A four-ball serving has enough calories to keep someone alive in the Arctic for over a week.
It makes a few more roasties and a couple of Thorntons seem utterly inconsequential.