A Pox on Moderation

The worst cardio-fitness program in this century was that of Egypt's King Farouk. The King weighed around 300 lbs.; he looked like an immense, saturnine party balloon. Staples of the royal diet: a few tablespoons of caviar, lobster thermidor, slabs of roast lamb, a cubic meter or so of trifle, a pound of chocolate, a magnum of champagne. Workout: two or three dancers from the chorus.

An officers' coup deposed Farouk in 1952, but exile did not disrupt his opulent gluttonies. One morning in Capri, as Farouk consumed a breakfast that included 10 eggs, he told a group of newsmen, "You...

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