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Why Have Americans Become More Obese?

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  • David Cutler
  • Edward Glaeser
  • Jesse Shapiro

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.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 9446.

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Date of creation: Jan 2003
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Publication status: published as Cutler, David M., Edward L. Glaeser and Jesse M. Shapiro. "Why Have Americans Become More Obese?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, 2003, v17(3,Summer), 93-118.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9446

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  5. Laibson, David, 1997. "Golden Eggs and Hyperbolic Discounting," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 112(2), pages 443-77, May.
  6. Jonathan Gruber, 2001. "Tobacco at the Crossroads: The Past and Future of Smoking Regulation in the United States," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 15(2), pages 193-212, Spring.
  7. Patricia M. Anderson & Kristin F. Butcher & Phillip B. Levine, 2002. "Maternal Employment and Overweight Children," NBER Working Papers 8770, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Richard Blundell & Martin Browning & Costas Meghir, 1993. "Consumer demand and the life-cycle allocation of household expenditures," IFS Working Papers, Institute for Fiscal Studies W93/11, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  9. Jeremy Greenwood & Ananth Seshadri & Mehmet Yorukoglu, 2003. "Engines of Liberation," RCER Working Papers 503, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  10. Becker, Gary S & Lewis, H Gregg, 1973. "On the Interaction between the Quantity and Quality of Children," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(2), pages S279-88, Part II, .
  11. Dora L. Costa & Richard H. Steckel, 1995. "Long-Term Trends in Health, Welfare, and Economic Growth in the United States," NBER Historical Working Papers, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc 0076, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Shane Frederick & George Loewenstein & Ted O'Donoghue, 2002. "Time Discounting and Time Preference: A Critical Review," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 40(2), pages 351-401, June.
  13. Jonathan Gruber & Botond Köszegi, 2001. "Is Addiction "Rational"? Theory And Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 116(4), pages 1261-1303, November.
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  1. > Agricultural Economics > Food Policy
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