The Mediterranean diet
Panza translates as potbelly. And how do you end up with a potbelly while on a Mediterranean diet? Wasn’t that the healthy diet propagated by food pundits? The ultimate way to eat yourself healthy.
There are two Mediterranean diets. A frugal plant based one. And a televised yummy interpretation. One selling like hotcakes. And one left where it was once discovered. It is up to you to guess which of both makes bellies protrude.
The panza became a status symbol. Much as gout in the past. Both are after all the result of sumptuous eating. Something not everybody could allow. ‘Uomo di pancia, uomo di sostanza’ is a well known Italian saying. Which freely translated says that a fat man is an important man.
Fat rolls became love handles. Life seemed to start when the belly got round. With elder men shamelessly parading their paunch.
Uomini di panza
Meanwhile in Sicily omu di panza has a different meaning. It refers to the infamous and much discussed-of secrecy. A belly-man doesn’t spill the beans. He probably eats them for lunch.
Mind your own business. Keep what you know for yourself. And store it in your belly. So the bigger the belly, the better secrets are kept. That is how the belly got linked to mob and mobsters.
Just to be clear, a big belly doesn’t make you a mobster. Probably only looking like one.
Panza and punishment
The Mayo clinic is pretty straightforward when defining belly fat. It is the direct cause for the following:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes
- Colorectal cancer
- Sleep apnea
- Premature death from any cause
- High blood pressure
The solution? Physical exercise and a diet. What about the Mediterranean diet? Heard of it?