I'm doing some research on obesity and diet. The easy culprit seems to be fast food places like McDonalds (especially McDonalds) but the research indicates that it's not necessarily so. According to this paper the increase in caloric intake is due more to snacking than increases in meal time. This is interesting. I know this is the case for me, but it makes me curious about everything else. Now, the time that obesity, as indicated by the BMI, or body mass index, really started to show a marked increase beyond what is healthy was about 1980. At first I wondered whether the decrease in dinner time calories (and the increase in snacking calories) had any connection to the increase of the dual-income family. That is, if both parents work outside the home, nobody is spending a whole lot of time cooking, and therefore the eating is decentralized. The kids (or non-cooking adults) eat what they can when they can, instead of waiting until dinner. This would lead to more children faring for themselves, which necessarily means simpler, more ready-made foods, which, could conceivably lead to more snacking. Of course, two-income households didn't start in '80, but I still wonder if there's any correlation. That certainly seems to have played a factor in my case. Then again, I just don't like to cook.