Grand Obese Party? - Pacific Standard

Grand Obese Party?

Researchers have found a statistically significant correlation between support for Mitt Romney and a pudgy populace.
Author:
Publish date:
(Photo: Christopher Halloran/Shutterstock)

(Photo: Christopher Halloran/Shutterstock)

Seems Republicans really are the party of fat cats.

Writing in the journal Preventative Medicine, a pair of University of California-Los Angeles researchers examined county-level obesity rates and voting patterns. After controlling for various factors known to influence weight, such as poverty and educational attainment, they found a small but statistically significant correlation between support for 2012 presidential candidate Mitt Romney and a pudgy populace. Specifically, a one percent increase in county-level support for Romney corresponds to a 0.02 percent increase in age-adjusted obesity rates.

The researchers argue this reflects poorly on the Republican party's emphasis on “personal responsibility" for reducing obesity risk. Successful fat-fighting strategies “will necessarily involve government intervention,” they argue, “because they involve workplace, school, marketing and agricultural policies.”

Bigger government or bigger waistlines: The choice is yours.

This post originally appeared in the January/February 2014 issueofPacific Standard as "Grand Obese Party?" For more, consider subscribing to our bimonthly print magazine.

Related