Are large refrigerators responsible for US obesity?

It’s more than just the refrigerator size, but sure, large US fridges may contribute to the problem. More after this excerpt.

large american refrigerator

This is about the size of my fridge at home,
and I still gain weight.
(Fridge via Shutterstock)

While no empirical data exist that link larger appliances to the obesity epidemic in the U.S., the trend does enable a culture of excess, in which we buy more, eat more, and waste more than ever before, said Lisa Young, an adjunct professor of nutrition at New York University and author of “The Portion Teller.”

“Everything, especially our refrigerators, is bigger and when we have more space we buy more and make more food,” she said. “The theory is that you’ll save the leftovers and eat it later in the week, but that rarely happens.”

More often than not, said Young, the extra food becomes bigger portions, a significant factor in weight gain.

I see their point in this study about how the new refrigerators make it easier to store larger and larger meals, but still, this is a stretch. Living in a big (and expensive) city, I have limited space so have what most Americans would consider a small refrigerator at home (not quite an Easy Bake Oven size fridge, but not by much), and I still managed to plow on weight. I also ate more, and gained weight, despite food prices being considerably higher than the costs in the US.

Pinpointing the weight problem in the US can’t be limited to one issue such as the jumbo refrigerators that people are buying. It’s a combination of many issues including what is considered normal in the community, an abundance of unhealthy food being sold at cheap prices, lack of exercise, lack of self discipline, portion size and more.

It doesn’t help that Teabagging extremists attack people like Michelle Obama who have made great efforts to encourage healthy eating. In the minds of the Teabaggers, eating healthyis somehow an evil liberal conspiracy that is endangering the lives of Americans when in fact, the real danger is for Americans to continue along the unhealthy route.


An American in Paris, France. BA in History & Political Science from Ohio State. Provided consulting services to US software startups, launching new business overseas that have both IPO’d and sold to well-known global software companies. Currently launching a new cloud-based startup. Full bio here.

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