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).
Mitka M. Economist Takes Aim at "Big Fat" US Lifestyle. JAMA. 2003;289(1):33-34. doi:10.1001/jama.289.1.33