Why the Number of Obese Children is increasing in US

Why the Number of Obese Children is increasing in US

Why the Number of Obese Children is increasing in US

In the three recent decades, the number of obese children has increased in America. It is notable that obesity is higher in US more than in other developed countries. There are many reasons that explain this appalling phenomenon. For the average increase in weight of American children has gone above the medically recommended scale (Shapiro, Glaeser & Cutler, 2003).

From 1980 to date, the amount of calories expended has never risen. But the quantity of calories consumed has increased by a great margin over the same period of time. Available evidences point to the theory of division of labor in food production as being responsible for the increased intake of calories by children. Before 1980, food production process was entirely domestic. This implied that the length of time it took to cook food and bring it on the table was considerably longer than it is in this industrial era. Women would single-handedly shoulder the burden of cooking, resulting to lower quantity of food products, hence lower amounts of calories consumed (Shapiro, Glaeser & Cutler, 2003).

But with the mechanization of food production, technological innovations such as vacuum packing and improved food preservation methods, have paved way for increased food manufacturing, making it available to clients for rapid consumption. Thus the technological change theory has led to an increase in the number of meals owing to increased availability of food, unlike the period before 1981. This helps to explain why families with few children were obese. They took a shorter time to prepare their meals compared to families with more children.   They could therefore eat as many meals as possible hence increase in obesity (Shapiro, Glaeser & Cutler, 2003).

The theory of division of labor coupled with the mechanization of food production means that the amount of food is being produced in bulk. This translates to an increase in food supply in the market. When the amounts of food commodities increase, their prices lower. To customers, it implies that they can afford to eat as more meals as possible. The impact is poor feeding habits in children thus an obese nation (Shapiro, Glaeser & Cutler, 2003). Under these circumstances, chances of raising obese children in America are certain.


Shapiro, M., Glasaer, L., Cutler, M. (2003). Why Have The Americans Become More Obese?            The Journal of Economic Perspectives, 17 (3), 93-18. Retrieved October 16, 2012, from      http://www.proquest.com


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