Edge

Overweight Democrats Blame Genetics for Obesity. Overweight Republicans Blame Something Else

Not surprising: They disagree. More surprising: Party affiliation, and your own weight, affects how you think about fat, a new study says.

by
Man voting in polling booth during election
Getty Images/Mark Wilson

Healthcare, immigration reform, education—when it comes to American politics, an endless list of hot-button topics divides people along party lines.

Now we can add another (surprising) addition to that political checklist: obesity.

That's right: People's political affiliation—that is, whether they identify as a Republican or Democrat—influences the way they think about fat, as does their own personal weight, according to a new study published in the journal American Politics Research

So, what's the difference between Republicans and Democrats when it comes to obesity? Republicans—regardless of their own weight—are more likely to believe obesity is caused by lifestyle and eating habits, the researchers discovered. Democrats, on the other hand, were divided. Democrats who are already overweight more often attribute their extra poundage to genetic factors. Average-weight Democrats, however, were less likely to make that connection.

Overall, "self-reported overweight people were significantly more likely to believe obesity is caused by genetics than normal weight people," said Mark Joslyn, a University of Kansas researcher and author on the study. "The belief that obesity is due to genetics tends to remove blame. Obesity is not a choice, some would argue, but rather people are simply genetically wired to be obese."

Still, regardless of whether you're a Republican or a Democrat—and we really don't care either way—you can start putting in the work to drop those extra pounds today. One of these 11 best diets of 2017 or 25 workout finishers to burn fat would be a pretty kick-ass way to jumpstart your weight-loss goals.

Comments