The economics of obesity – WSJ

There is an economic explanation for America’s obesity problem. High-calorie foods are cheaper than ever and changes in the way we work have created a sedentary nation. Happily, the market is creating a solution: medical innovations that can reduce obesity. But insurers and governments are limiting coverage for these treatments because of short-sighted business calculations.

Obesity affects 42% of the US population. Many people attribute America’s weight problem to genetics, addictions, or culture, but analysis by Richard Posner and I begun in 1999 demonstrates that the problem is an economic problem caused by job changes. promotion technology. Agricultural innovations have increased production and reduced food prices dramatically. Historically, it was not feasible to produce all the food needed for such a large obese population, but today we can do it easily and cheaply. The economics of obesity – WSJ

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