Unfortunately, many policymakers are misled by red herring culprits for obesity. To be sure, it cannot be a decrease in exercise; Americans’ energy expenditure habits have been static over the time period. It cannot be cultural changes; data showing the same trends among fresh immigrants to the United States suggest that there is not a driving cultural force behind obesity. It cannot be fast food restaurants’ “super-sized” bundles; there has been no discernible increase in calories per meal. It cannot be poverty; there is a decreasing gap between obesity rates of different socioeconomic population segments over the time period, with much of the remaining gap attributable to varying genetic predispositions to obesity associated with race.


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