Why Have Americans Become More Obese?
David M. Cutler
Harvard University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
Edward L. Glaeser
Harvard University - John F. Kennedy School of Government, Department of Economics; Brookings Institution; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
Jesse M. Shapiro
University of Chicago; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Paper No. 1994
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, but not most, of the population.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 65
Date posted: January 23, 2003