January 14, 2014
Where Does Obesity Come From?

A new article by John Cawley in NBER Reporter, "The Economics of Obesity," poses an interesting question right at the top. Why study obesity like an economic problem, anyway?
There are two broad answers. The first is simply methodological. Understanding the causes and consequences of obesity is hard because scientists like randomized experiments—e.g.: give one group drug X, give another group a placebo, and observe the difference. But this is almost impossible to do with weight. It’s unethical to randomly make participants obese just to watch what happens to them. So, it’s useful to study compare data and try to find out how income and obesity are actually related. Essentially: To study weight like an economist.
The second answer is that obesity is an economic problem, plain and simple. Obese Americans costs the U.S. $190 billion in annual medical costs attributable to their weight—or 20 percent of national health-care spending, according to Cawley’s research. That’s a shockingly high figure, and it implies that unpacking the relationship between income and obesity could save America even more money and anxiety than many researchers estimate.
The trouble is that, when it comes to obesity, practically nothing is clear-cut, starting with the word, itself.
Read more. [Image: Reuters]

Where Does Obesity Come From?

A new article by John Cawley in NBER Reporter"The Economics of Obesity," poses an interesting question right at the top. Why study obesity like an economic problem, anyway?

There are two broad answers. The first is simply methodological. Understanding the causes and consequences of obesity is hard because scientists like randomized experiments—e.g.: give one group drug X, give another group a placebo, and observe the difference. But this is almost impossible to do with weight. It’s unethical to randomly make participants obese just to watch what happens to them. So, it’s useful to study compare data and try to find out how income and obesity are actually related. Essentially: To study weight like an economist.

The second answer is that obesity is an economic problem, plain and simple. Obese Americans costs the U.S. $190 billion in annual medical costs attributable to their weight—or 20 percent of national health-care spending, according to Cawley’s research. That’s a shockingly high figure, and it implies that unpacking the relationship between income and obesity could save America even more money and anxiety than many researchers estimate.

The trouble is that, when it comes to obesity, practically nothing is clear-cut, starting with the word, itself.

Read more. [Image: Reuters]

  1. ohmygollygarsh reblogged this from spyabovethewindow and added:
    Goodness, a fat bitch just wants to be passive agressive sometimes >.> In all seriousness,I personally am not interested...
  2. spyabovethewindow reblogged this from ohmygollygarsh and added:
    This is an article to find why there are more obese people today than there once was. You cannot deny that the rates of...
  3. eashubsda reblogged this from laurenrhoades
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  10. stevita reblogged this from honeyedlife and added:
    And I thought it would be the Vulcans who made first contact.
  11. honeyedlife reblogged this from theatlantic and added:
    WHERE DO THE FATTIES COME FROM? WHICH PLANET IS THEIR HOME? THEY CERTAINLY HAVEN’T BEEN HERE FOR CENTURIES, RIGHT?...
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