Poor economy leads to tubbier people, less consumption of fruits and vegetables

Can lean times lead to wider waistlines? It appears so. If you are finding it harder to keep off the weight recently, it’s not just you or holiday parties that are to blame. The recession and its aftermath are making you fatter.

A new research paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research finds that people tend to eat fewer fruits and vegetables when they either lose their jobs, or are at a higher risk of losing their jobs. And for the past few years, that’s been all of us. Worse, not only do we eat fewer veggies, but our consumption of Cheetos and McDonald’s tends to go up as well. Here’s why:

The study by Dhaval Dave of Bentley University in Waltham, Mass., and Inas Rashad Kelly of Queens College in Flushing, N.Y looked at phone surveys done on 350,000 Americans across the country from 1990 to 2007. What they found is that people in areas of the country during that time period with higher unemployment rates tended to eat fewer fruits and vegetables.

Full story: Is the economy making you fat?