Why Is the Developed World Fat?
Lower food prices means we eat more, and thus, we become fatter given our level of activity.
In Why is the Developed World Obese? (NBER Working Paper No. 12954), authors Sara Bleich, David Cutler, Christopher Murray, and Alyce Adams show that rising obesity in the developed world is primarily the result of consuming more calories. Specifically, they find that increased caloric intake accounted for 93 percent of the change in adult obesity from1990 to 2001 (the remainder is attributable to reduced energy expenditure). The increase in caloric intake appears to be driven by technological innovations, such as lower food prices and the ease with which businesses can enter the marketplace, as well as changing sociodemographic characteristics such as increased labor force participation and increased urbanization.
Gee, the cost goes down and consumption goes up. What a shocking conclusion.