So I'm playing Mario and he's swimming, and I begin to wonder...why is Mario so fat?
It's not lack of excersize. He spends a large quantity of time running around Mushroom Kingdom, saving Toads and princesses.
It's not diet. He doesn't eat often. And when he does, he's got what...mushrooms?
So I have settled on the fact that Mario has cancer.
The "drugs" the mushrooms and power-ups are supposedly supposed to symbolize are drugs. Medical drugs and vitamins. He collects so many coins because he has to pay for chemo and more drugs. And his stomach is round because there is a TUMOUR in there.
As for the "lack of ill effects" can you say, for example, "Paper Mario"? Very ill side effect, k thx.
It all makes perfect sense now. Like why he doesn't just leave the useless princess on her own.
He needs the money.