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The National Center for Health Statistics looks at the obesity crisis. Most of the increase took place between 1976 and 2000, when obesity doubled from 15 to 31 percent. What happened then to cause the increase? Three converging trends may have been at work: the aging of the baby-boom generation into middle-age when people typically put on pounds, the rise of working women and mothers, and the substitution of fast-food meals for home cooking.

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