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Obesity and Decline in Savings Could be Connected


Australia has taken over as the most obese country, but the US isn't far behind and we have dwindling savings accounts to go along with our gluttonous reputation. Slate writer Rob Cyran asks whether the two are related and brings up some interesting points to support his hypothesis.

  • From 1980 to 2003, obesity rates rose remarkably, consumption as a percentage of the country's gross domestic product rose, and the U.S. savings rate plummeted.
  • According to economists from the University of Miami, obesity took off when women started earning more and restaurant portion sizes grew. Families started eating out more often as women spent more hours away from home and restaurants increased portions to stay competitive.
  • Researchers from New York University claim the number of new products introduced in restaurants bragging of huge portions increased sevenfold during the '80s and '90s.

What do you make of his findings? Do you think that as we get control of our eating habits wiser savings habits will follow?

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