The No. 1 Reason Americans Are Getting Fatter: We’re Not Smoking

“Using the traditional Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition technique” — a social science method often used to study two groups or components with different credentials; a method, essentially, of comparing apples to oranges — “we find that cigarette smoking has the largest effect: the decline in cigarette smoking explains about two percent of the increase in the weight measures,” Baum and Chou, both professors of economics at Middle Tennessee State University and Lehigh University, respectively, explain in the paper’s abstract. “The other significant factors explain less.”

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