H&R "lurker" Jessica sends along this hilarious Reuters story (via MSNBC.com) about the newest addiction under the sun: suntanning.
Anywhere from one-quarter to one-half of people catching rays at the beach may actually be addicted to tanning, according to new study findings.
After interviewing 145 beachgoers, U.S. researchers found that a significant portion met a series of addiction criteria traditionally used to diagnose alcoholism and other substance use disorders.
These findings suggest that regular sun-tanners may have a new type of substance disorder involving ultraviolet light, write the authors, led by Dr. Richard F. Wagner, Jr., of the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston.
Whole thing here.
I want to disagree with Drs. Wagner et al. From the news account at least, what their findings suggest that, to paraphrase Joe Jackson re: cancer, everything is addictive.
Indeed, as someone who tries to squeeze small moments of pleasure out of a world which is mostly shadows, I choose to read studies like the one mentioned above as performance art, esoteric Guy Grand-esque hoaxes designed to brighten our days. Try it, all you existential depressives out there, it really helps.