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Weighty questions and meaty answers

"Get your fat asses down to Dunnes Stores," demanded Gerry Ryan. "They will weigh you and tell you the many health implications of your weight."

On Monday he was launching the TV show Operation Transformation on his radio programme. Operation Transformation involves people losing large amounts of weight. The reason for this is because, as Gerry eloquently pointed out: "We are a nation of fat feckers." To be fair, he admitted being part of the fat family himself. "We are all at least half a stone heavier than we think we are," he proclaimed. Ryan claims that he has lost a stone -- but it's hard to tell listening to him on the radio.

His guest, Professor Donal O'Shea of St Vincent's Hospital, informed us that we are on average 40lbs heavier than we were in 1970. "We are the fattest in Europe, and we are catching up with America!"

Apart from a more sedentary lifestyle, it is a historical fact that since the Famine our genes have become modified to store fat, and the inverse is true. If we carry on as we are going, Mother Nature will get rid of our ability to store fat.

"Jesus, Mary and Joseph I didn't know that," said Gerry, and with typical understatement he announced to the listening public: "The skinny guys will live and the fat guys will die!"

Then the Body Mass Index (BMI) counter was brought out and people were ringing in with their particulars.

"I'm 5ft 7in and 17 stone," said one.

"You have a BMI of 38," said the doctor. And judging by the many illnesses obesity can cause, about a week to live, we thought.

However, this business of BMI is questionable. For instance, Irish rugby skipper Brian O'Driscoll is relatively short (around 5ft 10 in) and around 15 stone. On paper, his BMI would presumably not look out of place in the notes of fat camp, yet he is our greatest athlete.

"It is the most reliable predictor of future health," barked the doctor.

But Gerry's solution was practical: "Why don't the obese simply go to doctor 'Ding-Dong' in LA and get put through the bacon slicer?" Quite.

How Can I Ever Trust You Again? (Bloomsbury Publishing, €12.99) is a book about how to cope with marital infidelity. It was written by marital therapist Andrew G Marshall, and he was a guest of Derek Davis, standing in for Tom McGurk who normally presents over on 4FM on Monday.

"You've been busy?" Davis asked the author.

"Not as busy as the people I write about," he replied enthusiastically.

It is said that 80pc of couples experience an infidelity in the marriage at some stage. Curiously, the hotspots for straying are either after five years or 25 years, according to Marshall, or disturbingly, when your wife is pregnant.

No wonder they are busy.

However, help is at hand, and very often the couples who are the saddest coming into counselling are the happiest leaving it.

It's all about communication, allegedly. Although how do you cope with the statement: "I just don't fancy you anymore," or "I'd prefer to bonk my secretary." Not very well, I'd suspect.

Davis omitted to ask that particular one but he did enquire about the following: "Does a one-night stand count as an affair?"

The answer was: "Technically yes".

Although, apparently, 'getting off' with someone at the office party technically does not constitute an affair. According to the therapist, there are seven steps on the road from discovery to recovery. They are: shock, intense questioning, decisions, hope, attempted normality, despair and intense learning.

If you follow these you will succeed.

That is if your spouse doesn't put you through the bacon slicer first.

The Gerry Ryan Show RTE 2FM, weekdays, 9am-12 noon McGurk on 4: 4FM, weekdays 5-7pm