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This Is Why You're Fat (.com)

This Is Why You're Fat (.com)

Julian Kesner | NYDaily News

Richard Blakeley and Jessica Amason enjoy chili-cheese Tater Tots.

One thing seems fairly certain in times of ­economic distress: As employee rosters and paychecks around the world become leaner, the food that people eat becomes fatter.

McDonald’s total U.S. sales were ­reportedly up 2.8% in February compared with the same month last year, and that was after rising 2.6% in January. Pizza Hut and KFC are said to be planning scores of new stores across Europe and Asia this year. And chains like Taco Bell are now posting record profits — in places like the Middle East.

“People who are stressed out from the economic downturn appear to be seeking out cheap, high-fat, high-carbohydrate foods,” says Dr. Petros Levounis, director of the Addiction Institute of New York at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt hospitals. “These foods have been shown to ­actually act like antidepressants, and also have an anti-anxiety ­effect.”

Such gluttonous cravings can ­apparently be satisfied visually, too: One of the most popular new Web sites of the last month is Thisiswhyyourefat.com, a blog dedicated to photos of outrageously fatty, sodium-drenched, artery-clogging culinary creations.

Okay, perhaps “culinary” is a bit of a stretch — site highlights include the 30,000 Calorie Sandwich (ground beef, bacon, corn dogs, ham, pastrami, roast beef, bratwurst, Braunschweiger, turkey, fried mushrooms, ­onion rings and five cheeses, served on white bread) and the Mega Mel Burger (1½ pounds of beef, 1 pound of bacon, a quarter pound of cheese and fixin’s).

This Is Why You’re Fat was founded by 29-year-old Richard Blakeley, who works for Gawker Media’s eponymous flagship blog, and his girlfriend, ­Jessica Amason, 27, who works for the AOL blog Urlesque. In just over a month since its inception, their Web site has garnered an astonishing 10 million page views.

“We were absolutely expecting a lot of traffic,” says Blakeley. “Fast food is not only cheap, it’s comforting. I think this is the antithesis of food porn.” He later adds, “Actually, it’s more like amateur food porn.”

“People aren’t spending money on lavish meals and going out to restaurants as much,” says Amason. “There is an element of humor to the site, of course, but I think that’s a huge part of its success.”