Wang to Examine if Cereal is to Blame for Ballooning Waistlines

The obesity rate in the United States has increased from nearly 15 percent in the 1980s to almost 36 percent today. Emily Wang, assistant professor of resource economics, will explore one factor behind the ballooning of Americans’ waistbands in a talk titled “The Evolution of Nutritional Quality: The Case of the Ready-to-Eat Cereal Industry,” on Tuesday, March 4 at 2 p.m. in 905 Campus Center.

Despite the growing public concern and increased government intervention, no consensus has been reached regarding the causes behind the abrupt increase in the obesity rate. Wang argues that a natural starting point is to study the evolution of the quality of food consumption over time. This talk documents the evolution of nutritional quality of available products, focusing specifically on the intake of ready-to-eat cereals over nearly a quarter century.

This event is coordinated by the Food Access Research and Engagement (FARE) Partnership at and co-sponsored by the Center for Public Policy and Administration, the Stockbridge School of Agriculture and the departments of food science, nutrition and resource economics. The FARE Partnership convenes scholars, community partners, policymakers and students to create multidisciplinary initiatives that promote healthier, more sustainable and equitable food systems from production to consumption.