The Funhouse Mirror

The capacity of people to fool themselves knows no boundary, so on the theory that turkey skin, gravy and pumpkin pie have no calories if eaten on the fourth Thursday of November, consider a new Gallup poll.

The poll asked people their height and weight, the two key figures in determining whether one is overweight or obese. The answers they gave indicated that 58 percent are too heavy. Never mind that based on actual research involving real people standing on scales, the correct figure is 66 percent.

Well, margin of error, you say. Probably not, because we are observing two disconnects here.

Not only were people apparently misstating their height and weight to the interviewers, they were utterly misunderestimating their own condition. Because while 66 percent of us are fat, only 41 percent of survey respondents said they were.

Of those 58 percent whose self-reported stats put them over the top of “normal,” 72 percent said they are not seriously trying to lose weight. At least they were honest about that, if not about the way they see themselves in their funhouse mirrors.

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