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April 16, 1982

Mesomorph Metamorphosed

JAMA. 1982;247(15):2103. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03320400021026

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Youth has always been wasted on the young, but I was disturbed to discover that middle age is also being wasted on the middle-aged.

I had always imagined that the middle-aged person should be as Shakespeare described:

In fair round belly with good capon lined,

With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,

Full of wise saws and modern instances;

Women, of course, could omit the beard. But as a middle-aged mesomorph myself, I have been amazed to find that contemporary images of prosperous middle age do not involve portly mesomorphs in their prime, busy with the affairs of the world. No longer is the mesomorph regarded as the natural product of middle age and a pinnacle of evolution. Our potbellies and the proliferation of our chins have become an embarrassment rather than an achievement.

Uncle Pierre's Gourmet Diet  To shed my mesomorphic shell and inherit the privileges of contemporary