Does "No Child Left Behind" Contribute to Obesity?

That's the question posed in a new working paper by Patricia M. Anderson, Kristin F. Butcher, and Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach. What would the mechanism/s be? "Schools facing increased pressures to produce academic outcomes may reallocate their efforts in ways that have unintended consequences for children's health. For example, schools may cut back on recess and physical education in favor of increasing time on tested subjects."

Expanding Waistlines Around the World

Obesity is far from just an American problem. These nifty maps from the Economist display average BMI for males around the world in 1980 and 2008, and the percentage change.

The Unintended Consequences of Government-Sponsored Weight-Loss Surgery

Here's how Darin McCloud, a 45-year-old man in Portsmouth, England, has been eating lately: "He has been scoffing three-quarters of a loaf of bread, several packets of crisps and bacon rolls every day, and tucking into chips, takeaways and junk food for his tea."

The Rational War on Fat

Is it likely that we'll follow the perfectly rational incentives designed by benevolent governmental guardians to reduce obesity? Fat chance.

San Francisco Passes a Happy-Meal Ban

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors has "passed an ordinance that will require meals to meet certain nutritional guidelines if restaurants wish to include a toy with the food purchase."

Selling My Addiction

An unusual auction began late yesterday on eBay. I'm selling my "right to regain weight." Why would anyone in their right mind be willing to pay me cash to buy this right? What does this even mean?

Betting on Yourself

Commitment devices are an increasingly popular weight-loss method, especially among economists. However, new research from Nicholas Burger and John Lynham indicates that betting on your own ability to lose weight may not be a sure thing.

Does Driving Cause Obesity?

People are significantly fatter in countries, states, and cities where car use is more common. Mass transit use, on the other hand, is correlated with lower obesity. But there has been scant evidence that public transportation actually causes widespread weight loss -- until now.

The Communist Approach to Obesity

Here's one way to fight obesity: mandatory exercise, as Beijing has commanded again, after a three-year break.

The Rising Obesity Tide

Obesity continues to plague the U.S., with nine states now reporting that more than 30% of their population is obese.