Minority Health Archive

Why Have Americans Become More Obese?

Cutler, David M and Gleaser, Edward L and Shapiro, Jesse M (2003) Why Have Americans Become More Obese? Working Paper. UNSPECIFIED.

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Abstract

In the early 1960s, the average American adult male weighed 168 pounds. Today, he weighs nearly 180 pounds. Over the same time period, the average female adult weight rose from 143 pounds to over 155 pounds (U.S. DHHS, 1977 and 1996). In the early 1970s, 14 percent of the population was classified as medically obese. Today, obesity rates are two timeshigher (CDC, 2003). Weights have been rising in the United States throughout the twentieth century, but the rise in obesity since 1980 is fundamentally different from past changes. For most of the twentieth century, weights were below levels recommended for maximum longevity (Fogel, 1994), and the increase in weight represented an increase in health, not a decrease. Today, Americans are fatter than medical science recommends, and weights are still increasing. While many other countries have experienced significant increases in obesity , no other developed country is quite as heavy as the United States.


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Item Type: Report Document or other Monograph (Working Paper)
Additional Information: This article is available at the publisher’s Web site. Access to the full text is subject to the publisher’s access restrictions.
Uncontrolled Keywords: obesity, food preparation, mass production
Subjects: Health > Nutrition
Health > Public Health
Health > Public Health > Chronic Illness & Diseases > Obesity
Research
Related URLs:
    Depositing User: Kismet Loftin-Bell
    Date Deposited: 31 Mar 2011
    Last Modified: 30 Jun 2011 14:38
    Link to this item (URI): http://health-equity.lib.umd.edu/id/eprint/208

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