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Medical News and Perspectives
January 1, 2003

Economist Takes Aim at "Big Fat" US Lifestyle

JAMA. 2003;289(1):33-34. doi:10.1001/jama.289.1.33

Chicago—Tomas Philipson, PhD, hears the usual reasons for, and possible solutions to, the obesity epidemic facing the United States. He does not buy them.

Philipson, an economist and professor at the Irving B. Harris Graduate School of Public Policy Studies at the University of Chicago, believes US weight gains during the past century are caused by technology. Technical improvements in food production have lowered the cost to consume calories while technology in the workplace—from elevators to e-mail— makes many workers more sedentary, thus increasing the cost to expend calories (for example, by joining fitness clubs).

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