THE crucial element of the southern European diet that keeps natives so attractively thin is not olive oil or leafy vegetables but endless cigarettes.
Proponents of the Mediterranean diet claim emulating Spanish and Italian consumption of legumes, seeds and fruit will help you get skinny, but researchers have found their ceaseless consumption of Marlboro Lights has more to do with it.
Dr Helen Archer explained: “Northern Europeans lusting after sexy, olive-skinned Mediterraneans in skimpy swimwear have always wondered what their secret is. Turns out it’s fags.
“We experimented with two groups. One who ate nothing but sardines and artichokes in olive oil. The other who ate whatever the f**k they wanted and smoked four packs a day.
“By week three, the smokers would slip effortlessly among the bathing beauties on a St Tropez beach, while the healthy eaters were more Margate than Montpellier.”
“Turns out it’s not visiting the vegetable aisle but going to the counter that sells the scratchcards that does the trick. You die early, sure, but you die thin so who gives a shit?”
Sophie Rodriguez of Seville said: “Duh. All of my friends back home eat nothing but kebabs. The difference is they eat them between inhaling Camel Blues.”