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Uncommon Knowledge

The US goes straight to your hips

And other surprising insights from the social sciences

The US goes straight to your hips

Is America’s weight problem an issue of bad genes or bad environment? A new study suggests the latter. Comparing Korean children who were adopted into American families versus European families, the authors found that American-adopted Koreans were significantly more overweight and obese, even controlling for sex, age, adoption age, and education. In fact, the difference in body-mass index between American- and European-adopted Koreans was about the same as the difference in body-mass index between Koreans living in South Korea and North Korea.

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