America's emerging "fat war" threatens to pit a shrinking population of trim Americans against an expanding population of heavy Americans in raging policy debates over "fat taxes" and "fat bans." These "fat policies" would be designed to constrain what people eat and drink -- and theoretically crimp the growth in Americans' waistlines and in the country's healthcare costs. Richard McKenzie's HEAVY! The Surprising Reasons America Is the Land of the Free -- And The Home of the Fat offers new insight into the economic causes and consequences of America's dramatic weight gain over the past half century. It also uncovers the follies of seeking to remedy the country's weight problems with government intrusions into people's excess eating, arguing that controlling people's eating habits is fundamentally different from controlling people's smoking habits. McKenzie controversially links America's weight gain to a variety of causes: * the growth in world trade freedom, * the downfall of communism, * the spread of free-market economics, * the rise of women's liberation, * the long-term fall in real minimum wage, * and the rise of competitive markets on a global scale. In no small way -- no, in a very BIG way -- America is the "home of the fat" because it has been for so long the "land of the free." Americans' economic, if not political, freedoms, however, will come under siege as well-meaning groups of "anti-fat warriors" seek to impose their dietary, health, and healthcare values on everyone else. HEAVY! details the unheralded consequences of the country's weight gain, which include greater fuel consumption and emissions of greenhouse gases, reduced fuel efficiency of cars and planes, growth in health insurance costs and fewer insured Americans, reductions in the wages of heavy people, and required reinforcement of rescue equipment and hospital operating tables.
From the Back Cover
In HEAVY! Professor McKenzie addresses ‘the coming fat (policy) war’ over proposed fat taxes and bans, making the case for heavy people bearing the full burden of their weight-related costs.
America has become the heaviest country in the world. This book lays out the unheralded, mainly economic reasons for the country’s weight gain, which include – believe it or not – the growth in world trade freedom, the downfall of communism, and the rise of women’s liberation. The consequences of this trend are a HEAVY! burden as well, resulting in greater emissions of greenhouse gases, rising health insurance costs and fewer insured Americans, reductions in the wages of heavy people, and requiring reinforced rescue equipment and hospital operating tables.
“If you aren’t interested in the economic, political or health implications of a heavier America, then this book is not for you. But if you want a view on the obesity “crisis” that is informed, balanced and full of surprising causes and consequences for America’s excess tonnage, and suspect that there is more to lose than pounds from turning politicians loose on this problem, then read this book."
William J. O'Neil Chair of Global Markets and Freedom,
Cox School of Business, Southern Methodist University
"Richard McKenzie provides an entertaining tour of the economic, biological, and social causes and consequences of Americans' eating habits."
J. Daniel Hammond
Hultquist Family Professor
Department of Economics, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem
"Vividly written and full of insight, HEAVY! powerfully illustrates how the economics of obesity will be shaping our health, wealth, and the coming policy debates around foods, fuels, and freedom of choice."
Lorens A. Helmchen, Associate Professor, George Mason University