Tags: political | party | obesity | opinions | influence

Your Political Party Influences Your Opinions on Obesity

Image: Your Political Party Influences Your Opinions on Obesity
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By    |   Monday, 06 Mar 2017 11:57 AM

Your political beliefs shape your opinions on obesity, says a study from the University of Kansas. Republican? You probably believe that eating and lifestyle habits cause obesity, regardless of how much you weigh. Democrat? Your probably believe that being fat is just a roll of the genetic dice, and you're fat because of genetic factors.

"The belief that obesity is due to genetics tends to remove blame," said researcher Mark Joslyn. "Obesity is not a choice, some would argue, but rather people are simply genetically wired to be obese. In this way, overweight people are motivated to believe in the genetics-obesity link. We found normal weight people were not so motivated."

In addition, people who viewed themselves as overweight were more likely to believe that obesity was caused by genetics than people of normal weight.

The research could have important implications for policymakers, especially at the local and state levels that tend to focus on public health involvement, either through appealing to healthy lifestyles by constructing biking and walking paths to encourage exercise or by passing stricter regulations on food and drinks, such as requiring publication of calorie counts and placing extra taxes on soft drinks.

Some cities have passed taxes on sodas. But even though a 2015 CDC report found that 71 percent of adults were overweight and more than 17 percent of youth were obese, most Americans oppose higher taxes on soft drinks.

The study, which was published in the journal American Politics Research, wasn't the first to link political opinions to weight. A 2016 paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science found that conservatives might stick to a diet better than liberals because they have more self-control.

And what makes you a liberal or a conservative? Your genes may influence your beliefs. A study from the National University of Singapore (NUS) found that women who possessed a 4R/4R variant of the DRD4 gene — also called the "adventure" gene — were more politically conservative.

"Our findings have shown that despite a country's political system or even culture, political ideology is in part hardwired by our genes," said researcher Chew Soo Hong.

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Your political beliefs shape your opinions on obesity, says a study from the University of Kansas. Republican? You probably believe that eating and lifestyle habits cause obesity, regardless of how much you weigh. Democrat? Your probably believe that being fat is just a...
political, party, obesity, opinions, influence
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2017-57-06
Monday, 06 Mar 2017 11:57 AM
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