Fattening of America How the Economy Makes Us Fat, If It Matters, and What to Do about It

ISBN-10: 0470124660
ISBN-13: 9780470124666
Edition: 2008
List price: $37.95 Buy it from $3.00
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Description: People are getting fatter and fatter. The book will examine the economic drivers behind the obesity epidemic and the financial impact of obesity on society. Although the author does not discount personal responsibility, he asserts that economic  More...

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Book details

List price: $37.95
Copyright year: 2008
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated
Publication date: 1/9/2008
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 274
Size: 6.50" wide x 9.25" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.540
Language: English

People are getting fatter and fatter. The book will examine the economic drivers behind the obesity epidemic and the financial impact of obesity on society. Although the author does not discount personal responsibility, he asserts that economic incentives encourage the production and consumption of high-caloric foods and are the major factor behind the rise in obesity. At the same time, a multi-billion dollar weight loss industry has developed to profit from obesity. Both ends of the spectrum -- the companies that encourage obesity and the companies that provide weight loss products --are profiting handsomely from obesity. The losers are employers, the government, taxpayers, and the military. With the dramatic rise in obesity in recent years, the public interest stake in the obesity epidemic has become so large that we need to look at new solutions to combat the problem. The author asserts that we need to revise our farm subsidies, create incentives for healthy behaviors, discourage the production of high-caloric foods, and look at potentially controversial measures to change behaviors.

Introduction: Answering the Age-Old Question: Why Is Uncle Al So Fat?
Craze or Crisis?
So Why Now?
My Soccer Team Eats Oranges
So How about Adults? Are We Gaining, Too?
A Growing Waistline Can Be Bad for Your Health
But Are We the Only Ones Gaining Weight?
The Longer You Stay, the Bigger You Get
I'll Take a Deep-Fried Coca-Cola
First Things First
Cheap Food Gets Cheaper
The Rise of French-Fried Potatoes
Please Pass the High-Fructose Corn Syrup
A Full Pound of Sausage, Bacon, and Ham: Have a Meaty Morning
Too Much of a Good Thing
Kids Are Also Drinking the Kool-Aid
When Is Enough Enough?
Why We're Moving Less: (Hint: It's Not Just the La-Z-Boy)
But I Don't Have Time!
Not Quite the Jetsons, But...
Just Be a Marathon Runner
We're Not Farmers Anymore
Sprawling Out
Our Kids Are Also Slowing Down
Wrapping It Up
So Where Else Can We Lay the Blame?
Blame Mom and Dad
The Just Blame Mom (You Know You Will Anyway)
Blame the Meds
Blame the Cigs (One More Theory Goes Up in Smoke)
Blame the All-Nighter
Blame the Air Conditioner (Not Cool)
Blame Pollution (It's a Dirty Business)
Blame That Nasty "Fat Bug"
It's the Economy, Stupid
Beware: Moral Hazard
Just Bill My Health Insurance
Is Obesity as Bad as It Used to Be?
Just Take a Pill or Get a Procedure
So We're Fat - Who Cares?
Is Uncle Al Overweight?
C'mon Now, We're Only Utility Maximizing
Now, Let's Tear This Argument Apart (and Put It Back Together)
So Should Dad (and the Government) Care that Uncle Al Is Obese?
Just Follow the Money
The Role of Government
Market Failures
Externalities
Market Power
Public Goods
Obesity and National Defense
Imperfect (Asymmetric) Information
Is There a Role for Government?
Weighing the Public Policy Issues (for Adults)
Equity
Irrationality
Compelling Public Need
Revisiting Past Policy
The Road Ahead
Summing Up
Weighing the Public Policy Issues (for Kids)
First, a Step Back
Child Abuse?
School-Based Regulations
Your Mouth Will Really Groove
In Closing
The Employer's Dilemma
Why Don't Businesses Invest More in the Health of Their Workforce?
The Dirty Secret about Employee Wellness Programs
So What's an Employer to Do?
Could These Programs Get Me in Legal Hot Water?
The ObesEconomy
Just How Big Is the Weight-Loss Industry?
Just Take a Pill
Bigger and Better
Invest in New Technology
In the Name of Progress
How to Lose Weight Like an Economist
Economic Weight-Loss Techniques
A Few More Secrets to Success
Conclusion
Notes
About the Authors
Index

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