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: 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
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