The Surprising Reasons America Is the Land of the Free—And the Home of the Fat

  • Richard B. McKenzie

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvi
  2. Richard B. McKenzie
    Pages 1-20
  3. Richard B. McKenzie
    Pages 21-50
  4. Richard B. McKenzie
    Pages 51-64
  5. Richard B. McKenzie
    Pages 65-97
  6. Richard B. McKenzie
    Pages 99-119
  7. Richard B. McKenzie
    Pages 121-148
  8. Richard B. McKenzie
    Pages 149-161
  9. Richard B. McKenzie
    Pages 163-200
  10. Richard B. McKenzie
    Pages 201-223
  11. Richard B. McKenzie
    Pages 225-239
  12. Back Matter
    Pages 241-325

About this book


In HEAVY! Professor McKenzie addresses ‘the coming fat (policy) war’ over proposed fat taxes and bans, making the case for heavy people bearing the full burden of their weight-related costs.

America has become the heaviest country in the world. This book lays out the unheralded, mainly economic reasons for the country’s weight gain, which include – believe it or not – the growth in world trade freedom, the downfall of communism, and the rise of women’s liberation. The consequences of this trend are a HEAVY! burden as well, resulting in greater emissions of greenhouse gases, rising health insurance costs and fewer insured Americans, reductions in the wages of heavy people, and requiring reinforced rescue equipment and hospital operating tables.

“If you aren’t interested in the economic, political or health implications of a heavier America, then this book is not for you. But if you want a view on the obesity “crisis” that is informed, balanced and full of surprising causes and consequences for America’s excess tonnage, and suspect that there is more to lose than pounds from turning politicians loose on this problem, then read this book."

Dwight Lee
William J. O'Neil Chair of Global Markets and Freedom,
Cox School of Business, Southern Methodist University

"Richard McKenzie provides an entertaining tour of the economic, biological, and social causes and consequences of Americans' eating habits."

J. Daniel Hammond
Hultquist Family Professor
Department of Economics, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem

"Vividly written and full of insight, HEAVY! powerfully illustrates how the economics of obesity will be shaping our health, wealth, and the coming policy debates around foods, fuels, and freedom of choice."

Lorens A. Helmchen, Associate Professor, George Mason University


Fat Fat taxes Fat war Obesity Overweight

Authors and affiliations

  • Richard B. McKenzie
    • 1
  1. 1.Paul Merage School of BusinessUniversity of California, IrvineIRVINEUSA

Bibliographic information