First the problem must be identified, then dealt with, then finally explained. Obesity is the problem and all "advanced" countries are currently on board the effort to end the "epidemic." Grant junkies are expanding their anti-fat racket by postulating reasons why everyone is now so damn fat. Once the causes have been identified they can be eliminated.
According to a gang of anti-fat crusaders people are overweight because of modernity. Here is a partial list of the specific culprits: the microwave oven, supermarkets, technology. The microwave because it makes preparing pre-made, and horribly unhealthy, meals as easy as one, two, three. Supermarkets because they are emporia of calorie-rich, cheap food. Technology because it transformed the working class from one where hard, physical labor was normal to one in which brain is more important than brawn. Manually working the fields and coal mines or constructing buildings and roads by brute strength, all with an inadequate food supply may be part of a not longed-for past but boy, those workers sure were svelte. Of course they didn’t live as long and as healthily as do today’s portly workers.
Ayn Rand, an uncompromising advocate for self-determination and individual freedom, wrote extensively some 40 years ago how modern technology had freed billions from the brutal slavery of having to spend their entire lives working themselves to the bone just to maintain a barely subsistent livelihood. For her the invention of washing machines, tractors, automobiles and all the devices that make life easier, more comfortable and healthier was a key component of happiness. She railed against those who derided modern conveniences as dangerous fanatics whose supposed love of humanity masked an ingrained misanthropy. Rand was often mislabeled a hysteric by those too obtuse to see that the object of most do-gooders is power over their fellows, pure and simple. The "war on obesity" and its "back to the past" agenda reveals yet again her prescience.