Friday, November 27, 2009

Fattened Up Over Time: Turkeys and Americans

THE ECONOMIST - Between 1960 and 2008, turkeys bulked up by around 11 pounds to 29 pounds, an increase of 64%. Coincidentally, in that same period the average American man gained 28 pounds (166.3 pounds to 194.3 pounds, a 16.8% increase), almost the equivalent of a turkey (see chart above).

Update: "Recently I asked an acquaintance in Bombay why he has been trying so hard to relocate to America. He replied, “I really want to move to a country where the poor people are fat.” From Dinesh D'Souza's column "What's So Great About America."


At 11/27/2009 7:50 PM, Blogger KO said...

We have the highest obesity rate in the world, and most lawyers per capita in the world, and paradoxically the highest healthcare cost in the world. Oh wait, that's not a paradox.

In our crazy system, you get no financial reward for being trim, but get to spread your expenses onto others if you're obese. At least with gasoline prices, those driving SUVs had it the worst when prices jumped.

At 11/27/2009 8:57 PM, Anonymous Lyle said...

More fundamentally we have the highest incomes and the lowest food prices in the world. Since we evolved until 200 years ago into an environment of food scarcity and famine, it was a survival advantage to eat as much as you could whenever you could. This problem extends beyond humans to all mammals, look at cats dogs and horses for example.
So given the cost of food in the US its not suprising that the US has the greatest obesity rate. The further issue is that the cheapest food is the worst for one.(Burgers Fries and sugar/high fructose corn syrup). As an example 42 years ago there was no soda in the high school I went to. So if the preceeding ideas hold true than taxing fast food, and /or subsidizing fruit make sense, actually do both and you can be budget neutral

At 11/27/2009 9:48 PM, Anonymous American Delight said...

Does this mean we need wellness programs & universal health care for turkeys?

At 11/27/2009 10:21 PM, Anonymous Benny "Tell It LIke It Is Man" Cole said...

Um, I know we are fat, but the average American man weighs 194.3 pounds?

At first, I was going to chide Dr. Perry for a typo. But that number appears to be the fact, or at least close.

I blame Mexican food.

Turkey meat is probably healthy, and if you can figure out a way to cook the big bird, a bargain.

At 11/28/2009 7:34 AM, Blogger juandos said...

"Oh wait, that's not a paradox"...

Very good OA...

Hmmm, you might interested in reading this Peter Huber piece in City Journal that seems to address your comments: Anthraxing New York

At 11/28/2009 3:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Recently I asked an acquaintance in Bombay why he has been trying so hard to relocate to America. He replied, “I really want to move to a country where the poor people are fat.”

~Dinesh D'Souza, in his column "What's So Great About America?"

Carpe Diem

At 11/28/2009 5:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The truly poor cannot buy enough food to get fat.

In America we suffer for our excessive calorie consumption, while elsewhere people starve.

Ironic and Sad.

At 11/30/2009 1:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder what the data says when weight is taken into account with height and muscle mass? Maybe American men are now taller, more muscular, etc.

At 11/30/2009 2:06 PM, Blogger QT said...


Enjoyed your rye humour....only one small expectancy has risen since 1960 although would agree that obeisity has huge health implications.

Fat is now considered an endocrine organ . National Geographic had a very interesting issue on this subject. Thought this quote particularly interesting: " For the first time, the Worldwatch Institute reports, there are as many overfed, overweight people in the world as those who are underfed and underweight"


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