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Firm evidence that Facebook makes you fat

A survey in the UK shows that people are prepared to eat fatty foods in order to keep up with their social networks.

The world is swelling and it appears to be Facebook's fault.

A far-reaching survey in the UK has shown quite conclusively that Prince Charles's subjects are stuffing themselves with 'chocolate and crisps' (the latter might be known to you as potato chips) while eagerly following their friends online.

According to these figures, 33% of those surveyed said they had put on seven pounds in the last three months.

But here is the real kick in the gut for the social networking industry. Almost half of those surveyed claimed that they would rather eat the leftover grease from the morning's plate of bacon, eggs and beans than fail to follow their friends' status updates.

Well, they didn't specifically mention the grease. The clever survey construction team asked them to choose between filling their face with a 'proper evening meal' and filling their evening with Facebook.

This is a new roadsign that says "three people should not try to lift one social networker." CC Clagnut

If you're not frightened enough already, then please consider that almost 75% of those surveyed said they found it difficult to tear themselves away from their laptops once they had been lured into the louche and iniquitous worlds created by Facebook, MySpace and other companies that are clearly in cahoots with manufacturers of unhealthy foodstuffs.

If you happen to be on a business trip to the UK in the near future, please be warned that the city in which most meals are skipped is, allegedly, Newcastle, a city whose most famous son, the soccer player Paul Gascoigne, had, as his closest companion, someone called Jimmy Five Bellies.

Before this information has you tossing your MacBook from a great height into the River Ohio or the window of the local Jenny Craig, you might like to know who sponsored this survey. As with so much scientific research, a touch of sanguinity is always sprinkled when one discovers who are the paymasters.

Well, in this case, it is a company called Somerfield. Somerfield bills itself, you will be agog to hear, as "Your Convenient Local Supermarket."

In other words, just before you go home to stuff your face while searching for digital company, please pop in to our supermarket. Where we do sell more than chocolate and crisps.

I just held my laptop a little distance from my tummy in order to waft to the Somerfield site. And I discovered that their home page is adorned by a large illustration of a somewhat portly man grilling two substantial and not entirely healthy-looking sausages on a barbecue.

His tongue is pointing upwards and out of his mouth as if licking his lips is not enough and he is about to lick the whole area between his nose and his mouth.

This is clearly a man who has at least 2,000 friends on Facebook.