Column: Age catches up to all of us where food is concerned!

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Our columnist Richard Oliffe says he is unsurpised by scientists’ findings that slimmer people have a genetic advantage when maintaining their weight...

Scientists somewhere have concluded that slim people have a genetic advantage when it comes to maintaining their weight, though I think I might have been able to have saved them a little time and effort, as I’ve suspected this for most of my adult life.

In my youth my body shape might best be described as resembling that of the average ‘racing-snake’; thin and gangly, able to eat and drink vast quantities of anything without any noticeable weight gain.

That was until one day, I think it was when I was in my early 40s, I woke to find this mysterious ring of flesh around my midriff.

I’d heard of this phenomenon, though never once suspecting that I should ever fall under the dark spell of the middle-age bulge; ‘love handle’, or whatever grim euphemism one cares to attach to this thing that was strapped to my body by the evil pixie in the middle of the night.

Was this the sudden payback for all those years of mad dietary abandon? Was my body really trying to tell me something?

In the last few years my health has taken a turn for the worse, falling foul of a condition which prevents me from exercising as much as I’d like due to extreme lack of breath. As a consequence, there has been another boost in weight gain, for very frustrating reasons.

In addition, some of the things that I used to eat without giving a thought have begun to fight back too, leaving me with migraine headaches, something that is another relatively new, unwelcome guest in my life.

Is it the cheese with red wine? Is it the nuts with eggs?

Yet this is a new kind of migraine. I call it the ‘swimmy’ one: shimmering shapes in my peripheral vision but without the disabling headache.

Perhaps it’s the ‘light’ butter with the Boursin, or is it the noodles with the monosodium glutamate?

Chocolate anyone?