First I read an article by Amanda Gardner suggesting that fat people don’t realize they are fat. Then a friend sent me some pictures of females at the beach over a 60 or 70 year period. You can see these above and wonder if aging has to lead to such blubberous decay.

I am including some snippets from the article. The biggest culprit suggested by this poll is that overweight comes from lack of exercise more than bad food. I can easily understand this resistance to exercise. These days I find it almost impossible to “exercise” by lifting weights or driving to the gym. That is boring and tedious. But I have no trouble making myself go to the tennis court—over 42 hours last month. That is fun, and I am eager to play. The article does point out, however, that just walking is considered exercise…you don’t have to make beautifully sculpted muscles.

(HealthDay News) — Many Americans have skewed perceptions when it comes to their weight, often believing they are thinner than they really are, even when the scales are shouting otherwise, a new poll finds.

Thirty percent of those in the “overweight” class believed they were actually normal size, while 70 percent of those classified as obese felt they were simply overweight. Among the heaviest group, the morbidly obese, almost 60 percent pegged themselves as obese, while another 39 percent considered themselves merely overweight.

These findings may help to explain why overweight and obesity rates in the United States continue to go up, experts say.

“While there are some people who have body images in line with their actual Body Mass Index, for many people they are not, and this may be where part of the problem lies,” said Regina Corso, vice president of Harris Poll Solutions. “If they do not recognize the problem or don’t recognize the severity of the problem, they are less likely to do something about it.”

And that means that obesity may be becoming the new norm, raising the specter of increasing rates of health threats such as diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers.

“I think too many people are unsure of what they should actually weigh,” said Keri Gans, a registered dietician and spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association. “For many, they have grown up in a culture were most people are overweight and that is the norm, or they have been surrounded by too many celebrities and fashion in the media and think very thin is the norm.”

Most respondents to the poll who felt they were heavier than they should be blamed sloth, rather than poor eating habits, for their predicament.

“We’re seeing the couch potato stigma [syndrome],” Corso said. “Three out of five Americans overall are saying they don’t exercise as much as they should.”

Added Gans: “Maybe they set the bar too high and forget that simply walking counts as exercise.”

A third of overweight people, 55 percent of obese people and 59 percent of morbidly obese people felt they ate too much of the wrong types of food.

Dr. Mitchell Roslin, chief of obesity surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, noted that “when [Dr. Everett Coop, surgeon general in the 1980s] wrote ‘Shape Up America,’ he said the biggest health problem facing America was not AIDS, not cancer, it’s obesity and a sedentary lifestyle. Since then … we’ve seen nothing but a rise in obesity despite all of these efforts that have gone on now since the 1980s.”