Presentation on theme: "Public Views on the Causes of Obesity Brian Powell Indiana University – Bloomington, Department of Sociology Presentation, Indiana University Conference:"— Presentation transcript:
Public Views on the Causes of Obesity Brian Powell Indiana University – Bloomington, Department of Sociology Presentation, Indiana University Conference: Obesity: Causes, Consequences and Policy Challenges November 9, 2007
Previous Obesity-Related Work Self-rating of obesity/overweight Others’ reactions to overweight and obese individuals Role of schools vs. non-school environments on overweight in childhood
How People Explain Obesity And why is it important?
Constructing the Family I / II –2003/2006 Sociological Research Practicum –Computer assisted telephone interviews –National and Indiana samples –Data collection: May–June 2003 and May– June 2006 –Total number of cases = 1527 Data
The next set of questions is about traits that children develop. For each trait, please tell me whether you think such a trait in a child is influenced mostly by parenting practices, the child’s genes or genetic inheritance, the child’s friends, the outside environment - including such things as school, media, and so forth, or is it mostly due to God’s will. Research Instrument
Influence on Child's Weight 2006
Influence on Child's Weight 2003
Influence on Child's Weight: Comparing 2003 and 2006
Influence on Child's Sexuality: Comparing 2003 and 2006
Method: Multinomial Logistic Regression Key findings: –Education linked to greater support of parental and peer/environmental vs. genetic explanations. –Religiosity linked to greater support of genetic over parental explanations. –Gender - women more likely than men to support genetic explanations (but marginal significance). –Race - whites more likely than blacks to support parental and peer/environmental explanations. –Age – young adults more likely than older adults to support parental and especially peer/environmental explanations. Multivariate Analysis
Influence on Adult's Weight
Comparison: Influence on Child’s and Adult's Weight
The Spread of Obesity in a Large Social Network over 32 Years Christakis, N.A and Fowler, H.E (2007). The New England Journal of Medicine. Vol. 357(4).
Change in explanations in a short period of time. Change suggests increasing receptivity to policy intervention. Change suggests that discourse matters. But discourse could increase the likelihood of stigma. Conclusion and Implications