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The [obesity] epidemic was caused by the overproduction of food in the United States. Beginning in the 1970s, there was a change in national agricultural policy. Instead of the government paying farmers not to engage in full production, as was the practice, they were encouraged to grow as much food as they could. At the same time, technological changes and the 'green revolution' made our farms much more productive. The price of food plummeted, while the number of calories available to the average American grew by about 1,000 a day.
National Institutes of Health, The New York Times, May 14, 2012