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The New York Times reports on a new study suggesting that as people get heavier, their tolerance for being heavy gets greater.

According to the story, “Economic researchers from Florida State University and the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston found the weight of the average woman rose by or 13.5 percent between 1976 and 2000 -- but their ideal weight also edged up.

“In 1994 the average woman tipped the scales at 147 pounds but she wanted to weigh only 132 pounds -- but less than a decade later the average woman weighed 153 pounds but said her desired weight was 135 pounds.”

The Times< notes that these study results are in line with previous reports suggesting that “87 percent of Americans, including 48 percent of obese Americans, believed their body weight fell in the ‘socially acceptable’ range.”
KC's View:
I have two questions.

One: Why are economists looking into these issues? (Will nutritionists next be issuing reports about the nation’s economic health?)

Two: What does “socially acceptable” mean, and why does it matter in the scheme of things? I know thin people who I think are socially repugnant, and heavy people who are delightful. Isn’t the obesity issue about health, not social acceptability?