The New York Times, fresh from the heady success of alerting its readers to molecular gastronomy a mere two years late, is now excited to ruin your Thanksgiving.

“Tight Pants May Be the Smallest Worry” of eating a big Thanksgiving meal, warns the headline of a science story this week.

Vast helpings of turkey, stuffing and candied sweet potatoes can take a more serious toll. Big meals can raise the risk for heart attack, gallbladder pain and dangerous drowsiness on the drive home.

Thanksgiving remains one of the nation’s last un-shat-upon celebrations, despite the best efforts of right-wing “Thanksgiving has to be about praising the Christian God” types and left-wing “Thanksgiving has to be a completely depressing memorial of the Native American genocide” types. So what the deuce is the Times up to? Sure, yes, you could eat too much gravy and fall asleep. That’s the point. And sure, the body probably has to strain in order to choke down that eighth pound of mashed potatoes. That kind of physical exertion is likely the best we can manage on a day properly dedicated to good-natured kinship and hospitality, food, and football.

That Thanksgiving isn’t the healthiest way to eat really isn’t news to anyone, and the only possible effect this could have on America is to start fights about Uncle Dave’s perfectly reasonable request for a third slice of chocolate pecan pie. So, New York Times, just give thanks that we live in a country where well-intentioned excess and good times are an attainable luxury, and let’s leave the hand-wringing for Baghdad. Or, say, the hobbling of the FDA.

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