Good news from the world of medical research. You know that minor vice you feel mildly guilty about but cannot seem to stop doing? Well, turns out it may actually be good for you, this according to scientists reporting the results of a recent university study jointly sponsored by Coca-Cola and the Associated Press.
The study examined the effects of lying on a couch “all goddamn day” watching two-star television, masturbating and consuming large quantities of greasy and sugary foods, beer, cigarettes and “high-caffeine” beverages such as coffee and energy drinks. Scientists found a “clear, statistically significant correlation” between all your petty vices and stress-reducing relaxation. The study’s authors note that other research has implicated stress as a condition responsible for high blood pressure and heart disease, the most common cause of death in older Americans. They speculate that decreasing stress through petty hedonism may lower a person’s overall risk of developing heart problems later in life.
The study’s authors presented their findings to the National Institute of Wishful Sciences in Des Moines, Iowa on Tuesday. The results are also available in the online scientific journal/blog of the same name. Dr. T.Z. “Squeaks” Van Faulk, a well known figure in the wishful science community, spearheaded the project.
“I was looking to explore the relationship between petty vices and some benefit that can increase reader/viewership in popular media,” said Van Faulk. “It’s a new frontier. You would be amazed how little we still know about telling people what they want to hear. Progress is being made, though. When I was kid, the only way to think you were healthy was to eat right and exercise. Nowadays, we have all sorts of bullshit we can tell ourselves.”
The study divided test subjects into two groups. In one, participants sat on extremely comfortable couches jerking it to Victoria’s Secret commercials while watching the complete first season of The Biggest Loser. They consumed “damn near heroic” helpings of fried chicken, ice cream, tacos, ice cream tacos, meat lover’s pizza, chocolate candy bars, and domestic beer, all while treating themselves to “all the smokes [they could] handle.”
Scientists required the second group to eat a balanced diet, moderate use of psychoactive drugs like alcohol and caffeine while abstaining from tobacco altogether, “get a little exercise a few times a week” and “you know, just make the slightest bit of effort not to be a completely worthless piece of shit.” Both groups were allowed vigorous masturbation.
After three weeks, stress levels were measured in both groups and the numbers compared. Scientists were startled to find that the group lying on the couch measured an average of 56% lower stress levels and a whopping 89% greater level of overall relaxation while on the couch, as determined by the decibel levels of their pleasure-filled moans.
Furthermore, scientists found that when they reported the results to the group of lazy, wired, face-stuffing, cig-addicted, beer-swilling onanists, these participants reported 72% higher levels of self-esteem.
“That’s the most exciting part to me,” says Julie Schneider, a behavioral psychologist and director of marketing for Smoothie King. “It turns out that improving your mental outlook and self-image can be as simple as feeding yourself some comforting lie that reframes your existing behavior as healthy.”
Upon learning his bad habits may in fact be “good” for him, study participant Greg Farber had this to say: “Yeah, I always tell my wife it’s not about how your lungs and liver look, it’s how you feel. And shit, I feel pretty fucking good right now. I had like eight of them tallboys.”
“Oh yeah, who’d have thought, huh?” commented Dr. Van Faulk. “These are big numbers. I’d go so far as to call it a game-changer. Soon we might be living in a world where heart disease is a problem our grandparents worried about.”
“I think I could eat the Colonel’s Extra Crispy [fried chicken] just about every meal,” said James Allen Raye, another study participant. “If it can help me stay healthy, too, well that’s just icing on the cake. I think cake does that, too, by the way. Mama says it’s got all them radical-freeing anti-oxidizers in it.”