Free the Animal: A Weekend Roundup:
"Dr. Michael Eades with a whopper of a post on the changing perceptions of obesity. Says the doc, 'When I was a kid almost all kids were thin and so were most adults. Overweight people stood out. Now it’s the lean and healthy people who stand out.' Word."
Here's a larger excerpt, looking at how societal perspective on health and body appearance changes over time. Pretty interesting stuff.
The Blog of Michael R. Eades, M.D. » Changing perceptions of obesity:
"...Oliver Hardy was considered grotesquely obese in his time. When you watch the following short film, look at how obese he really was in terms of today’s obesity epidemic. he’s obese, of course, but you could walk through any mall in America and see dozens of people much more obese than Hardy…but not in his day.
Another obese character from my youth was Curly Howard (Jerome Lester Horwitz), the zany, manic, overweight butt of all the Three Stooges jokes. I remember Curly as being enormously obese, but looking at him in the clip below, he wouldn’t stand out in a crowd today. In fact, he looks almost normal (as compared to today’s citizens, of course).
Although I was never much of a fan as a kid, my folks loved the Jackie Gleason show. Jackie reveled in his obesity, and even went by the monicker The Fat Man. He was thought of at the time as incredibly obese...
Amazing, isn’t it? Again, you wouldn’t notice him in a crowd today.
I’ve gone on this trip down memory lane just to show you how the perception of obesity has changed over the years. What was obese 50 years ago is kind of normal now. Consequently, it’s easy to see how it would be easier to consider oneself normal when one is really overweight. And it’s easy to see why a lot of people would think they have only a few pounds to shed when they’ve really got a few dozen."