Obesity in Historical Context

We recently ran across an interesting blog post that got us thinking about just how un-shocking obesity has become.

The man pictured in the photo is Chauncy Morlan (1869-1906), who was so “freakish” in his fatness that he toured the world with Barnum & Bailey’s circus.

In his blog on MarginalRevolution.com, economist Tyler Cowen writes: “What would the circus goers of 1890 have thought if they were told that in the America of 2010 Chauncy Morlan would be unremarkable?”

Granted, the picture probably doesn’t do poor Chauncy justice and he was more than likely an enormous spectacle to behold, even by today’s standards.

But we tend to agree that this “type” of person has become a fairly regular sighting (at least here in the US and, from what we hear, worldwide).

One of the comments to Tyler’s posts was spot on in its cynicism, and it made us chuckle: “Actually, this is why I go to the pizza buffett, to see these people. The admission is $5, and after that they give you free pizza.”

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2 Comments»

  Eric wrote @

Word, in the world we are in today being fat is too common and too normal. I am different because I am skinny…its my tattoo…haha.

  eric wrote @

I like the last sentence. Made me LOL…Yes, laugh out loud.


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