Q Fever! Medical Humor & Satire

September 20, 2000 | Volume 1, Issue 8

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Study: Obesity a Risk Factor for Pants Ripping in the Ass

Recognition of association may permit early intervention

NEW ORLEANS, LA—Physicians edged a step closer today to understanding why some individuals develop rips in the ass of their pants, while others do not. Researchers, led by Dr. Anders Plin of Erasmus University in the Netherlands, today announced that obese individuals are at much higher risk of experiencing such tears. The findings were announced at the 39th Annual Meeting of the International Society of Endocrinology and Metabolism.

Dr. Anders Plin

"There has been a suspicion for several years that the phenomenon of pants ripping in the ass is very much determined by ass bulk", said Dr. Plin. "However, it was argued that this was more an artifact of the research methods used than an actual association." Plin's study was extremely large, and the investigators attempted to control for other factors that might rip pants in the butt, such as going bumpity-bump down the stairs on your ass.

"It was believed that posterior compartment pant-ripping was commonly caused by people going bumpity-bump down the stairs on their ass," said Plin. "We now know that this does cause pant-ass tearing in children, but is very uncommon in cognitively intact adults."

Dr. Howard Heffernan

However, others, like Dr. Howard Heffernan, of the National Institutes of Health, remained unconvinced. "If you've got a 50 inch waist, and you develop a rip in the ass of your pants, it's not so easy to just buy another pair," said Heffernan. "This probably leads to 'ascertainment bias'," because obese people are more likely to come to medical attention due to emotional distress from the difficulty in replacing torn garments. In addition, Heffernan noted the large number of "skinny-ass types with rippy-ass pants" who he sees in his practice. "Clearly, there's more going on here than just big asses," said Heffernan.

The conference ends on Tuesday.

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