In her Blog at the New York Times, Olivia Judson writes:
Here’s something I’ve found myself speculating about recently: could the obesity epidemic have a political impact? In particular, could obesity in a pregnant woman influence the eventual political outlook of her child?
This a fine example of ever-increasing attempts to disrespect conservatives (i.e., Republicans) before the Nov. 4th election. It would be laughable, except that so many brainwashed liberals will read this contorted piece of cut-and-paste pseudo-science and take it as truth: “Yeah, look at all those fat people living in trailer parks who cling to their guns and religions and have McCain/Palin bumper-stickers on their beat-up Chevy trucks.”
Judson tries to make the great intellectual leap between two hypotheses described in recent studies:
(1) people who are more easily startled tend to be politically conservative (see my recent post, Portrait of a blinking idiot: New litmus test for right-wingers and conservatives).
First, according to a report published last month in the journal Science, strong political views are correlated with distinct physiological responses to startling noises and threatening images. Specifically, the study found that people who support warrantless searches, wiretapping, military spending and so on were also likely to startle at sudden noises and threatening images. Those who support foreign aid, immigration, gun control and the like tended to have much milder responses to the stimuli.
(2) environmental stressors increase the hormone levels of fetuses and could potentially effect the personality of the baby, making it anxious and producing learning disorders.
Judson then tried to tie these into a neat little package of speculation:
In the United States, the obesity epidemic began about 30 years ago. We are now at a point where one third of all pregnant women are obese. Their children will be voting in about 20 years’ time. If an “obese” environment in the womb has an impact on aspects of personality that affect political views, we may soon be seeing a big shift in the body politic.
She implies that people who are more easily startled and anxious tend to be politically conservative. Women who undergo stress during pregnancy release more hormones and tend to give birth to anxious children with learning disorders. Obese women release higher levels of hormones and therefore may produce more anxious children who will grow up to be conservative Republicans.
I wonder how Judson will incorporate this recent finding by researchers at UC Berkeley into her hypothesis?
While a poverty-alleviation program launched by the Mexican government that has been modeled in the United States and around the world has led to improved health and cognition outcomes in children, a new study by University of California, Berkeley, researchers says that the cash component of the program has a downside for adults.
The program, called Oportunidades, provides money to impoverished families on the condition that they participate in health-promoting activities, such as getting annual health checkups and attending nutrition and hygiene education seminars. This is in contrast to traditional welfare programs that provide cash to families based solely upon their income or where they live.
The study published today (Monday, Oct. 20) in the Journal of Nutrition found that adults in households that received more cash from the program were more likely to be overweight, obese and have higher blood pressure than those who had received less money over time.
Following Judson’s logic, you might be tempted to conclude that increasing welfare payments to the poor will produce more obese women who will give birth to fearful, conservative children who grow up to vote Republican.
If I were an evil, sarcastic person I’d say “free pizza and burgers for everyone!”
Should we worry about the fat vote?, Salon.com