Way Back in 1995 Dave Barry figured it out in this classic column:
The gravity of being overweight
BY DAVE BARRY
(This classic Dave Barry column was originally published on Oct. 29, 1995.)
I am pleased to report that we finally have a scientific explanation for why everybody in the world is gaining weight. At least I am, and I know it's not my fault. Granted, I do not have the best dietary habits. Sometimes in a restaurant I will order fried, fatty foods (''Give me a plate of fried, fatty foods, and hurry'' are my exact words). But I compensate for this by engaging in a strict exercise regimen of vigorously pounding the bottom of the ketchup bottle for as long as necessary. ''No pain, no gain,'' is my motto regarding ketchup.
Nevertheless, I have been gaining weight, and you probably have, too, which is why you're going to be happy to learn that neither of us is responsible. The universe is responsible. We know this thanks to a scientific insight that was had by alert 14-year-old Massachusetts reader Tim Wing. Tim reports that he was browsing through ''The Usborne Book of Facts and Lists'' when he came across the following fact: Every single day, including federal holidays, 25 tons of space dust lands on the Earth. This means that every day, the Earth weighs 25 tons more, which means that it contains a larger quantity of gravity, which as you know is the force made up of invisible rays that cause all physical objects in the universe to become more attracted to bathroom scales.
What this means, Tim Wing points out, is that ``without gaining an ounce, people all over the world are getting heavier.''
And there's more bad news: At the same time that gravity is increasing, the entire universe is expanding, except for pants. Pants are staying the same size, which means that -- and this has been confirmed by extensive scientific tests conducted in my closet -- a so-called ''33-inch-waist'' pant will barely contain a volume that formerly fit easily into a 31-inch-waist pant.
Albert Einstein accurately predicted this phenomenon in 1923 when he formulated his Theory of Pants Relativity, which also states, as a corollary, that as the universe grows older, ``It will get harder and harder to find anything good on the radio.''
I can now eat my lunch of fried chicken without guilt.