Good news for the lazy. Health scientists have been trying to lay all this health jazz on us for years – eat right, exercise frequently, don’t smoke ciggies or drink –  but it turns out you can do something almost as good as all that lame jive and all you need is a rec card and some zig-zags.

The American Journal of Medicine, publishing research from the University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine, has found that the more you toke, the better when it comes to metabolic syndrome. It also forced this reporter to look up the definition of “metabolic syndrome,” which is, according to the Mayo Clinic, “a cluster of conditions — increased blood pressure, a high blood sugar level, excess body fat around the waist and abnormal cholesterol levels — that occur together, increasing your risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes,” – or, in other words, bad news.

But the good news is that cheeba chiefers are significantly at less of a risk for that spooky cluster of conditions than anyone else. The research study found that, of 8,500 participants between 2005 and 2010, 19.5 percent of those who had never smoked weed had metabolic syndrome, 17.5 percent of those who used to smoke weed but stopped had metabolic syndrome, and 13.8 percent of those who currently dance with mary jane suffered from the same health issues.

But hold your horses a second. Forgive this reporter who knows so little about medicine that he had to look up the definition to “metabolic syndrome” for calling these findings into question, but – according to Medical Daily, which brought this study to our attention – the researchers looked at participants aged 20 to 59 years old. According to Science Daily, older folks are more likely to suffer from metabolic syndrome than young people (46.7 percent of those 60 or older and only 18.3 percent among those 20 – 39). And, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, folks under 26 are three more times as likely to have smoked pot within the last year as folks who are 26 or older.

That means that if you’re younger, you’re more likely to smoke weed. And if you’re younger, you’re less likely to have metabolic syndrome. Which means that there might not necessarily be a real direct connection between smoking the reefer and avoiding the syndrome. But still, toking can’t hurt.

Natalie