Why Have Americans Become More Obese?

61 Pages Posted: 16 Jan 2003

See all articles by David M. Cutler

David M. Cutler

Harvard University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

Edward L. Glaeser

Harvard University - Department of Economics; Brookings Institution; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Jesse M. Shapiro

Brown University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: January 2003

Abstract

Americans have become considerably more obese over the past 25 years. This increase is primarily the result of consuming more calories. The increase in food consumption is itself the result of technological innovations which made it possible for food to be mass prepared far from the point of consumption, and consumed with lower time costs of preparation and cleaning. Price changes are normally beneficial, but may not be if people have self-control problems. This applies to some population.

Suggested Citation

Cutler, David M. and Glaeser, Edward L. and Shapiro, Jesse M., Why Have Americans Become More Obese? (January 2003). NBER Working Paper No. w9446. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=370430

David M. Cutler (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Department of Economics ( email )

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Edward L. Glaeser

Harvard University - Department of Economics ( email )

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Brookings Institution

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Jesse M. Shapiro

Brown University - Department of Economics ( email )

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