Study Confirms Existence of the Itis


Aaron Magruder Creator of The Boondocks, must feel vindicated by food science these days. A study in the journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology seems to confirm the existence of a phenomenon Magruder described in Season 1 Episode 10 of his animated series, titled “The Itis” (pronounced eye-tis).

The Itis (for the uninitiated) is the feeling of overwhelming drowsiness one gets after eating a particularly fatty meal. In the show, Granddad serves a meal of “two pig-knuckles glazed in honey, pig tongue marinated in honey for two days, chitlins…soaked in hot sauce, drizzled with mayonnaise, then set to harden on my back porch in three pounds of cheddar cheese.” Everyone at the table then passes out due to what Granddad calls “the itis.” (You can watch the entire episode here.)

The New York Times reports that Andrew Murray of Cambridge University in Britain has come to the conclusion that “eating fatty food appears to take an almost immediate toll on both short-term memory and exercise performance.” Doctors have known about the long-term effects for quite some time, but this study suggests that the effects show up much more quickly. And if you think you’ll just burn the calories off by working out, there’s no joy in this study for you either, because the fatty foods limits the quality of your performance too.

Brian Spears is Senior Poetry Editor of The Rumpus and the author of A Witness in Exile (Louisiana Literature Press, 2011). His poem “Upon Reading That Andromeda Will One Day Devour Triangulum and Come For Us Next” was featured in Season 9 of Motion Poems. More from this author →