Obesity rates in the U.S. have skyrocketed in the last 30 years. Among adults, obesity rates
more than doubled from the early 1970s to the late 1990s. Children’s obesity rates nearly
tripled over the same period. This article discusses why obesity is of interest from an economic
perspective. It then examines changes in children’s lives, particularly the increase in maternal
employment, that may have contributed to increases in children’s weight.