Life is a series of stark choices. None starker than this: Would you rather be fat, or stupid? Do not try to weasel out of this. Science demands that you choose one, and only one.

Though I have not been accredited with a white lab coat by any of the leading scientific "insider" organizations, I have written brief and misleading blog posts about many a scientific study—none, perhaps, more alarming than the findings of a new study published in the Lancet, which bodes ill for your body and your mind.

You may be fresh, lively, and youthful now, but imagine yourself in middle age. Do you think that you will be the sort of fit, active adult portrayed in pharmaceutical advertisements? You will not. You will either be fat, or you will be on the cusp of mental oblivion. Your treasured "middle way" ideal is little more than a childish dream. The Washington Post reports:

A surprising study contradicting all previous research found that being fat in middle age appears to cut the risk of developing dementia rather than increase it, the Lancet scientific journal has reported...

Underweight people had a 34 percent higher risk of developing dementia than those of a normal weight, the study found, while the very obese had a 29 percent lower risk of becoming forgetful and confused and showing other signs of senility.

Obesity or dementia? Superficial outward beauty accompanied by the brain of a mouse, or a healthy mind that shall not know happiness due to the cruel world's shallow condemnation of your size? Total satisfaction is as impossible as squeezing a slippery water balloon—whichever side you get a solid grasp on will only cause the opposite side to swell in grotesque proportion.

Fat or stupid? What will it be? Choose wisely. Or choose poorly. Either way, we all know where you will end up: in a shabby rented room in Spartanburg, South Carolina, surrounded by half-eaten "Tater Biscuits."

[Photo: Flickr]