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Mario Batali, new healthy persona?

Just saw Mario Batali on a local news show and he looked...thinner. In a healthier way.
Good for him - what's up?

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  1. Gastric bypass surgery? ; ) Adam

    1. That's odd - as I've seen him on his show on Spain, he looks huskier than ever!

      2 Replies
      1. re: Husky

        That was taped about 6 months ago, I think.

        1. re: LindaWhit

          Pretty sure it was the summer/fall of 2007. He did look huge.

      2. This is sheer conjecture on my part, but given his increasing rotundness over the past (I'm guessing here) 15 or so years on TV, he's probably been told by his doctor to shape up or start making plans to join Julia in her kitchen in heaven.

        He's at the age - I'm guessing mid to late 40s - where a lot of American men start to reach critical mass. Their vitals are borderline, and their weight is a cause but also a symptom of their health issues. Men that fall into his age group with the same health profile (and some women for that matter) develop serious life-altering conditions like extreme hypertension and diabetes - Mario "looks" like a guy who is a textbook case. My guess would be that his bloodwork is really scary, his heart must be pumping at least 50% harder than what his doctor feels acceptable, and his arteries could use a some roto-rootering as well.

        I've known or known of three guys and one gal who died from heart attacks in the past few years who appear to be very similar to Mario. I think the couple of differences are that they had somewhat stressful careers and they weren't big-baller rich folks like Mario. However, I don't know if having a career that he loves or having abundant wealth will buy him much more time than my dearly departed friends...

        12 Replies
        1. re: bulavinaka

          I would think that given the number of projects he has his hand in he leads a very stressful life. Being rich doesn't mean life is stress free.

          1. re: Blueicus

            I agree to a certain extent, but I think he would find much greater joy in pursuing his projects ("Spain: On the Road Again" ain't a bad gig when you're palling around with Gwyneth Paltrow, right?) than being an air traffic controller or a controller for a health insurance company...

            1. re: bulavinaka

              Maybe Gwyneth's 'high horse' talk had some influence on him :)

              1. re: paulj

                Maybe, maybe not... my sister's vegan this-&-that talk leaves me either way. Sometimes I feel like rescuing a poor creature of this earth, while other times I feel like eating it. And when I eat a full-on vegan-intensive meal (like we did this past Thanksgiving), I feel a need to purge all of that ethically earthy goodness with a 10-inch sub filled with five kinds of meat - hoofed, winged and otherwise, two kinds of cheese, all slathered with egg yolk laden mayonnaise, followed by a good Tuscan soup made with pork bones and filled with chunks of said-creature. I did that yesterday and I can now forgive my sister for the hell I went through preparing a multi-course meal absolutely free of animal exploit that only she truly enjoyed... Not that I'm expecting a suckling pig on her next visit, but she'd better not be expecting bulgar wheat loaf w/ legumes either... :)

                  1. re: bulavinaka

                    Oh waiter...I'll have what he's having!

                    1. re: bulavinaka

                      "Sometimes I feel like rescuing a poor creature of this earth, while other times I feel like eating it."

                      That's one helluva quote LOL

                      1. re: Ralphie_in_Boston

                        It's the catharsis of years of abuse by a militant passive-agressive guerilla vegan sister. If fate has any hand in her retribution, my sister should end up being the reluctant butcher at Hormel in her next life. Just kiddin' sis... ;-)

                        1. re: bulavinaka

                          Thats odd... I get endlessly ridiculed by the carnivores. I think its more of a personality thing...

                        2. re: Ralphie_in_Boston

                          In the words of Jim Gaffigan: "Fun to pet, better to chew."

                1. re: bulavinaka

                  It seems uncouth to me for anyone to discuss a stranger's health status. Only a personal doctor has that insight and even then, doctors are so rushed to make judgements that their assesments are subject.

                  Mario knows what's best for Mario and I think we should respect his privacy. I do understand he's a public figure and thus is fair game, but why not keep the conversation focused on his skills, businesses, etc.?

                  1. re: tastyjon

                    Your view is valued. I apologize for making you or anyone else feel uncomfortable in my post. But if you read the OP, the question is asked. I'm just responding, and it's my opinion, and mine alone.

                    "This is sheer conjecture on my part,..."

                    As I've already mentioned, his health concerns are conjecture on my part, but given his apparent physical state and his age, those two factors are glaring similarities to some of my friends and acquaintances who are sadly no longer with us, but more so no longer with their beloved families. I apologize if I sounded demeaning in any way, but I call them as I see them, and that is what I see, based on my recent experiences.

                    Had the OP done as you wished and as you put it,

                    "...but why not keep the conversation focused on his skills, businesses, etc.?"

                    I guess I would have addressed those issues if I felt so inclined, but the OP didn't. If my "butting in" to this part of Mario's personal life makes just one person in a similar state at least consider that a lifestyle change is vital, then I'll take all the snark for what it's worth...

                2. Maybe his partner Joe B's transformation into a marathon runner made an impression...

                  1. There was an article in the NY TImes back in March about the "pary being over" for "the fat pack" and it referenced Mario Batali and his goal to lose 40 pounds by the end of the year.
                    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/19/din...

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: sibeats

                      Oh man...see, now you've gone and killed all the speculation and presumption by infecting it with actual quotes from the person in question! I hope he's been successful and that he's feeling well.

                      1. re: ccbweb

                        Oops! Sorry, didn't mean to ruin all the fun...!

                        1. re: sibeats

                          No worries! As you can see, it had little to no effect and we've still got plenty of rampant speculation and conclusion drawing all over.

                      2. re: sibeats

                        Good for him. Still, who has 2-3 hours a day to exercise?

                        ----------------------------

                        “Believe me, by the end of this year I hope to lose 40 pounds the same way he has, by portion control and exercising two or three hours a day,” Mr. Batali said. “You can’t eat a large portion of a pig and lose weight.”

                        1. re: ML8000

                          “You can’t eat a large portion of a pig and lose weight.”

                          Oh, man! I knew I shouldn't read this board. Great.

                        2. re: sibeats

                          it's funny, somehow i missed that article...yet when i read the feature on Joe Bastianich right before the marathon, my first comment was that i hoped witnessing his transformation might inspire Mario to make some healthful changes!

                        3. But does he stll smoke? How healthy is his new lifestyle really?

                          1. Batali has had a brain aneurysm, hypertension is a risk factor and obesity is a risk factor for hypertension. I think he's already had the wake-up call. I hope he doesn't smoke.

                            10 Replies
                            1. re: sharonanne

                              He does unfortunately, or at least he did. That's why I was expressing concern.

                              1. re: Avalondaughter

                                obvious health risks aside, i'll never understand chefs who smoke...it totally alters your sense of taste and smell, and definitely dulls your palate.

                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                  Perhaps it altered their sense of taste and smell in such a way that they were able to produce food that more people liked than they'd otherwise have been able to. And if one's palate is dulled, one is more likely to season aggressively and perhaps that helps for some chefs/restaurants/food as well.

                                  I'm not arguing in favor of smoking (far from it, in fact) but we tend to presume that any alteration of a palate or a sense of taste will make for less appealing food....and who knows whether that's the case?

                                  1. re: ccbweb

                                    it's funny, i was thinking about that after i posted...and considering the caliber of many of the chefs who smoke [or used to] - Batali, Marco Pierre White & Tony Bourdain just to name a few - perhaps there is something to be said for it from a strictly culinary perspective!

                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                      Maybe that's why restaurant food is so salty?

                                      1. re: Claudette

                                        perhaps. maybe Anne Burrell smokes a couple of packs per day - that would explain a lot!

                                  2. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                    I recall reading in Michael Ruhlman's first foodie book (The Making of a Chef) that one of his instructors as the CIA claimed that older chefs tend to over season their food because their taste buds have declined. I can certainly imagine smoking having a similar effect.

                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                      other factors include social class (that's right, folks, chefs are blue-collar workers) and stress, stress, stress.

                                      ten, fifteen years ago it was unusual to find a chef that *didn't* smoke, just as thirty years ago it was unusual to find a doctor who didn't smoke. it is changing, a little slower than the rest of society. a few years ago i did a demo with another chef at a farmer's market, and a bunch of chefs (many of whom were of the natural & local foods variety, but not all) were standing around. we were cooking on an outdoor grill (propane) and the automatic lighting mechanism was misfiring. so we were like "do you have a lighter, no-- do you?" and then "does anybody out there have a lighter?" and crickets: and we were: "wow a crowd of a dozen-twenty chefs and nobody smokes? LOL holy shit!" & the chefs all had a little conversation amongst themselves: "i quit five years ago, when did you quit? oh just three years ago, when we had the kid. i quit ten years ago. wow, good for you. . . " :)

                                      1. re: soupkitten

                                        Wow - that is a positive trend. Observing kitchen staff lighting up ciggies in the back of restaurants is so common in LA. I know these folks are under a lot of pressure in so many ways. What amazes me is that I don't see many who are moderately or severely obese. In fact, a lot of these guys and gals are a little on the anemic side - I'm guessing from pumpin' ciggies instead of downin' the stuff from the kitchen...

                                        1. re: bulavinaka

                                          Restaurant jobs are among the most aerobic jobs available in America at this point. Waiters and cooks MOVE four or five hours a day, solid. Only executive chefs get fat....

                                2. Recently on Iron Chef, he looked as if he had lost substantial weight. He was still cooking with Lardo.