Marriage and weight gain

Do people gain weight after marriage?  A paper by Jeffrey and Rick (2002) says yes.  Using data collected from 2528 workers over a 2 year period, the authors estimated the effect of marriage and divorce on weight gain.  They found the following: Getting married increases BMI by 0.70 for men and 0.96 for women.  For…

Happiness and body image

Many Americans are dissatisfied with how they look.  They want to be thinner or have bigger muscles or have larger breasts or have fuller lips.  The diet industry, the plastic surgery industry, the fitness industry all make money because people are dissatisfied with how they look.  How can you be happy with your looks? As…

Wal-Mart reduces obesity

Wal-Mart increases real incomes by lowering prices.  The purchasing power increase makes buying fresh fruit and vegetables more affordable for the average consumer.  At least this is what Charles Courtemanche and Art Carden found. HT: Marginal Revolution

Obesity ‘equal to terror threat’

The BBC recently reported that a Durham University professor David Hunter is claiming that obesity is such a problem that its “…threat to our future health is just as significant as the current security threat.” What is Dr. Hunter’s solution? He said that bigger warning labels, changes in the taxation of “unhealthy” foods, and even…

Junk food tax and Pringles

Pierre Dubois of VoxEU has a suggestion to reduce obesity rates: a junk food tax. Dubois claims that a junk food tax of 5% would reduce junk food consumption by 15% and thus reduce obesity. While junk food is not healthy, it offers the most calories per dollar. Thus, a junk food tax would fall…

Is Obesity a Problem?

There is much evidence that has shown that over time for most developed countries, people have been getting fatter. Obesity rates are especially high in the U.S., but a trend towards increased obesity is similar in most developed countries. Are obesity rates “too high?” In a recent NBER working paper, Philipson and Posner argue that…

Does living in the suburbs make you fat?

Living in an urban, pedestrian friendly area may compel individuals to walk more, and thus reduce the likelihood one is obese. Living in a suburban, car-dependent area makes walking less attractive and thus could increase obesity. Some studies have shown that individuals who live in the suburbs weigh more than individuals living in urban areas.…