We're all fatty lardbuckets because we're eating less

That the population is generally getting fatter is true. That we might be facing an obesity epidemic is at least possible. But what we'd like to know is why is this happening? And the answer is that we're all becoming fatty lardbuckets because we are eating less. Unfortunately, we're not eating less than our decline in calories expended would suggest

Surprisingly, we find that total calories purchased have declined substantially over the last three decades. We distinguish two periods: 1980-2007, when food prices were falling; and after the Great Recession (2008-2013), when food prices increased worldwide and real incomes fell for many people. Table 1 shows the continuous decline in mean calorie levels regardless of food price changes. In the paper we show that this decline is not just occurring at the mean, but also across the distribution.

As Chris Snowdon over at the IEA has been manfully pointing out for a couple of years now it just isn't true that we are all eating more. We're simply not. As Snowdon has also pointed out the average UK diet now contains fewer calories than the WWII rationing one considered sparse leading to dangerous weight loss.

Thus public policy about why obesity is rising is simply based upon the wrong premise. It's not Big Sugar, nor Big Food, nor fats nor whatevers. Quite simply we expend fewer calories than our forefathers did and yet our calorie consumption has not fallen to meet that. Thus we are getting fatter.

And it is a simple truth about this world that if you want to try and solve some problem then you do have to analyse correctly why there is a problem in the first place. Which just ain't being done at present. Thus all the proposed solutions are wrong.