David Friedman on Obesity and Rising Incomes
From Milton Friedman's son David Friedman's blog, his latest posting "Obesity: A Conjecture."
The obvious explanation of the increase in obesity is that real incomes around the world have been trending up for decades. Now poor people in the U.S., and increasingly in poorer parts of the world, can afford to eat all the calories they want. Since all the calories they want represents more than what they require, the result is that they get fat.
In a very interesting previous post, David poses the "restaurant puzzle:" A restaurant provides two different products: Food and a place to eat it. Both are valuable, both are costly to the restaurant. Yet restaurants price only the food. The table is free, however long you use it. Why?