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Thread: religion - obesity

  1. #1 religion - obesity 
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    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42256829...and_nutrition/

    best guess?

    mine is that non-religious are more likely to value secular activities and take personal responsibility. what is your best guess for this link between religion and obesity?


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  3. #2  
    Forum Professor jrmonroe's Avatar
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    Food is one of the few "worldly pleasures" that aren't sins.


    Grief is the price we pay for love. (CM Parkes) Our postillion has been struck by lightning. (Unknown) War is always the choice of the chosen who will not have to fight. (Bono) The years tell much what the days never knew. (RW Emerson) Reality is not always probable, or likely. (JL Borges)
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    Forum Isotope Bunbury's Avatar
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    I'd suggest there is a cross-link between religion and wealth, or lack of it, and poor nutrition.

    Notably, this research shows that Conservative Protestants (CPs) are dramatically overrepresented in the bottom of the wealth distribution – particularly on measures of financial asset ownership – independent of family background (Keister 2003a, 2005). ....

    At least 25% of the U.S. population belongs to a CP denomination (1998 General Social Survey), suggesting that the processes that lead to asset poverty for this group may inform understanding of more general patterns in wealth distribution.
    http://www.soc.duke.edu/~lkeister/co...christians.pdf
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  5. #4  
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    Have to see the research itself. Might just be an artefact of the methodology. Might just be particular to whatever population was studied.
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    Veracity Vigilante inow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bunbury
    I'd suggest there is a cross-link between religion and wealth, or lack of it, and poor nutrition.
    I might question the overall result due to the sample, but your comment IMO is the closest to a valid response if the results hold up to scrutiny. Religion and religious practice is highest among those who are in poverty and who are less educated. There is a parallel correlation between food choices, physical activity, and overall health when measured against education and income. These deeper issues (education and income, freedom to make different food choices, etc) seem to me to make the most sense... again... if the result is valid and sample is representative.
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  7. #6  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bunbury
    I'd suggest there is a cross-link between religion and wealth, or lack of it, and poor nutrition.

    Notably, this research shows that Conservative Protestants (CPs) are dramatically overrepresented in the bottom of the wealth distribution – particularly on measures of financial asset ownership – independent of family background (Keister 2003a, 2005). ....

    At least 25% of the U.S. population belongs to a CP denomination (1998 General Social Survey), suggesting that the processes that lead to asset poverty for this group may inform understanding of more general patterns in wealth distribution.
    http://www.soc.duke.edu/~lkeister/co...christians.pdf
    Mmmm, but the story claims that this was accounted for:

    “Our main finding was that people with a high frequency of religious participation in young adulthood were 50 percent more likely to become obese by middle age than those with no religious participation in young adulthood,” says Matthew Feinstein, the study’s lead investigator and a fourth-year medical student at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

    And that is true even after we adjusted for variables like age, race, gender, education, income, and baseline body mass index," he added.
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  8. #7  
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    Quote Originally Posted by free radical
    Mmmm, but the story claims that this was accounted for:
    Residual confounding: the bane of epidemiology. Trust no one.
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  9. #8  
    Forum Isotope Bunbury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by free radical
    Mmmm, but the story claims that this was accounted for:

    “Our main finding was that people with a high frequency of religious participation in young adulthood were 50 percent more likely to become obese by middle age than those with no religious participation in young adulthood,” says Matthew Feinstein, the study’s lead investigator and a fourth-year medical student at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

    And that is true even after we adjusted for variables like age, race, gender, education, income, and baseline body mass index," he added.
    Oh, interesting. I missed that and missed your response (having been up a mountain at the time). Is it really feasible to adjust simultaneously for that many variables, as well as others not mentioned? It just seems to me that adjusting for one variable is reasonable but adjusting for six or more variables might leave you with a very small sample size of specially selected individuals who are not really "normal" people...but I'm not a scientist... :P

    How exactly would such adjustments be made?
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    Veracity Vigilante inow's Avatar
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    You pull those demographics from all respondents and look for correlations there. If the effect is consistent across the range within that variable group, that variable group is "controlled for."

    When you have a decent sample, you basically look across each of those other variables. When they say they were controlled for, it means the obesity differences were only seen as significant when viewed across the religious practice variable.

    So... no effect from age. Consistent obesity figures across ages.
    No effect from race. Consistent obesity figures across race (note: race is sociological concept with problems if used in biology).
    No effect from gender. Consistent obesity figures across gender.
    No effect from education, income, or baseline BMI. Consistent obesity figures across those.

    Religion, however? People who were less religious tended to be less obese. People who were more religious tended to be more obese. This was true regardless of where they were on the other criteria like age, gender, education, etc.
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  11. #10  
    Forum Isotope Bunbury's Avatar
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    My suggestion was not that poor people are obese. It was that the reason religious people tend to obesity is because they are over-represented among the poor. I'm not being very clear, but it just seems there's something wrong with the methodology.
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