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Monday, April 07, 2008


Does staring at boobs really make you live longer?

Not long ago a friend forwarded an email that claimed 'gazing at large breasts makes men healthier'. It quoted research by a German gerontologist, Dr Karen Weatherby published in the New England Journal of Medicine. 100 men were asked to spend 10 minutes a day looking at large breasts. It doesn't actually say but it seems to suggest that they mostly looked at pictures. And 100 were asked to avoid this activity.

The test lasted five years and the boob gazers presented a lower blood pressure, slower resting pulse rates and decreased risk of coronary artery disease than those who abstained.

This raised a few questions for me:

1. Should this be a compulsory activity for all men?
2. What about looking at a relaxing scene from nature? What effect would that have? It only says the control group abstained from looking at large breasts. Wouldn't it have made sense to have another group looking at pictures that are pleasant in some other way?
3. Is the whole thing a hoax?

Your intrepid blogger decided to use the internet to get to the bottom (no pun intended) of this. First I searched 'men staring breasts'. I got quite a few hits quoting Dr Weatherby's research. One was even from the London Times newspaper. But the New England Journal of Medicine was not among them. I went to the NEJM website and searched it. Karen Weatherby's name gave me nothing. And 'men staring breasts' also came up with no relevant articles.

I then went to snopes, the site that busts urban legends, and found this.

Sorry guys. It's a hoax. Dr Weatherby doesn't exist and the research never happened. You'll have to find some other excuse.

And the London Times? It was a reputable newspaper once. So who owns it now?

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made me laugh...if it was true, men in America should be much healthier than men in Asia…and I think it is not the case at all.
from Ursula by email
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