Obesonomics

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The demand for calories increases with age, both because one’s income rises and because one’s taste for good, caloric food has been developed over many years of good eating.  I didn’t know what an Esterhazy cake was 40 years ago, but now I can’t resist one if it’s on the menu! Sadly, however, the body’s supply of space to put those calories decreases with age.  It’s not surprising that with supply decreasing and demand increasing, most people find it difficult to avoid gaining weight with age. What to do as the price of space for calories increases?  I find sleeping less shifts supply rightward.  Exercising might do the same thing, but in my case it also increases demand, with an unclear net effect.  And self-control is increasingly difficult.  Getting old is just unfair economically!

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  1. Clancy says:

    At what point does the market for fat become saturated?

    I don’t think I’d agree that as income rises, demand for calories increases. In the developed world at least, demand for calories is more than met for all but the very poorest. Also, the cheaper food options tend to be the ones with the most empty calories. I think it’s usually the case that demand falls or is at least flat. It’s just that metabolism tends to fall faster, leading to a surplus.
    Maybe it’s time to apply an ex(er)cise tax and hope for some deadweight loss.

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