I have carried out another of my detailed, nay exhaustive, studies into the human condition and have come to another shattering conclusion.

We are an overweight nation. I’ve reached this conclusion after a sustained 2-hour session of people-watching in a provincial airport departure lounge.

I need to qualify this on two fronts. Firstly, I mean the male side of the nation. They were the study. Secondly, it’s not that we’re an overweight nation, it’s that we’re an overweight and under-toned nation. I saw enough men with slight or pronounced paunches that if you gave me a buck for every one of them I could have paid for my return flight.

The men with slight paunches were not overweight as such, it’s simply that the weight was not distributed correctly. We’re talking younger and middle aged men, younger than me, not older men for whom the slowing metabolism and decreasing activity exerts an inexorable toll on their midriffs.

What’s the cause? Modern lifestyle, unquestionably. Modern diets, modern mobility, modern commitments. And the Internet, which now accounts for the working day and a lot of our free time. We’re simply so much more sedentary than we used to me. We can send an email to Susan rather then walking a report over to her desk. Lifestyles have changed quickly and evolution will never be able to catch up.

It takes a lot of effort and time to put aside to stay in shape. If we’re not athletes by profession, we have limited time to devote to it and exercise is usually the first to go when it should really be the last. Look at any former athlete. How many look like they used to? How many are still in shape?

So it’s not just that we’re an overweight nation. We’re an overweight race.