Navigation Links
Who's to blame for obesity? Policymakers, the food industry, or individuals?
Date:1/22/2014

URBANA, Ill. Fast food restaurants take a lot of heat for the rise in obesity in the United States, but is it really their fault? A research survey conducted by two food economists revealed that most people believe individuals are to blame for their own obesity not restaurants, grocery stores, farmers, or government policies. One implication from this research is that creating and enforcing public policies to help reduce obesity and/or encourage healthier food choices may not be as effective as policy makers would like.

University of Illinois researcher Brenna Ellison explained that she and her colleague, Jayson Lusk at Oklahoma State University, are both interested in the effectiveness of different food policies. However, past research has shown many of the food policies designed to improve food choices, such as requiring calorie information on restaurant menus and taxing sugar-sweetened beverages, do not always produce the intended results. This leads one to question: Why aren't these policies working? Why aren't consumers responding to increased soda prices or calorie information on menus?

"Obesity is in the news every day so it would be hard to say that people are unaware of the policy initiatives in place to reduce U.S. obesity rates," Ellison said. "Based on our study results, the more likely conclusion is that consumers' beliefs about who is to blame for obesity don't necessarily align with the beliefs of policy makers and public health advocates. In the United States, we're known for being an individualistic-based society, so it's not exceptionally surprising that we would put this responsibility for obesity on ourselves."

"Who is to blame for the rise in obesity?" was published in a recent issue of Appetite.

An online survey was administered by Clear Voice Research whose registry of panelists is representative of the U.S. population in terms of socioeconomic characteristics, gender, and region. Of the more than 800 people in the United States who took the survey, 774 were usable.

The main question of interest asked survey participants was, "Who is primarily to blame for the rise in obesity?" Respondents were asked to classify seven different entities (individuals, parents, farmers, food manufacturers, grocery stores, restaurants, and government policies) as either primarily to blame, somewhat to blame, or not to blame for obesity. Results of the study showed that 94 percent of people believed individuals are primarily or somewhat to blame for the rise in obesity, with parents coming in second at 91 percent primarily or somewhat to blame. Survey respondents felt farmers and grocery stores were relatively blameless for the rise in obesity.

Ellison said that one finding from the survey was unexpected.

"We learned that farmers and people who received food stamps were more likely to blame government and farm policy," Ellison said. "That seems off. You wouldn't expect that opinion from people who are benefiting from those policies; however, these individuals could be in the best position to observe the potential harm that some government policies create."

"Unquestionably, U.S. obesity and overweight rates are much higher than they were 20 or 30 years ago so it is not surprising that policy makers and public health officials are looking for potential solutions. That being said, if individuals view obesity as a personal problem, how confident can we be that these solutions will work? We need to be realistic about the solutions we're proposing and implementing, and if people are not buying into them, they may need to be re-evaluated," Ellison said.


'/>"/>

Contact: Debra Levey Larson
dlarson@illinois.edu
217-244-2880
University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Survival rates lower for heart transplant patients whose arteries reclose after stenting
2. Laser-light testing of breast tumor fiber patterns helps show whose cancer is spreading
3. Study compares standard against newer treatment in women whose breast cancer has spread
4. Lawsuit Filed Against Montgomery County Coroner’s Office on Behalf of Indiana Women Whose Husband was Cremated Following Misidentification, by Wright & Schulte LLC
5. Report Released By the National Academy of Social Insurance This Month Shows Georgia To Be One of 22 States Whose Workers’ Compensation Benefits Payments Dropped in 2011
6. Kids whose bond with mother was disrupted early in life show changes in brain
7. Dr. Juliana N. Njokanma Launches Her Non-Profit Organization: Life Resources Inc. Whose Mission is To Empower the Voiceless, Advocate of the Disabled and the Vulnerable.
8. Feeling Lackadaisical? Sleep Apnea May Be to Blame
9. Obesity, Depression Blamed for Daytime Sleepiness Epidemic
10. Streetcar tracks blamed in one-third of Toronto bike accidents
11. Eating or spending too much? Blame it on Facebook
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/24/2017)... ... , ... My T Chai, a South African company that creates a number ... RevNutrition.com, a popular website specializing in sales of nutritional products. , Chai tea ... Siam. It spread across Asia and Africa quickly, and today recipes vary from region ...
(Date:4/24/2017)... PORT RICHEY, Fla. (PRWEB) , ... April 24, ... ... Control and Prevention (CDC), rising prescription opioid overdose deaths now claim the lives ... has slashed its civil case filings against drug manufacturers, distributors, pharmacies and prescribers ...
(Date:4/24/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... April 24, 2017 , ... Rod Burkett, ... Senior Housing News website. , Rod has been at the forefront of Gardant since ... culture. As CEO, Rod has overseen the opening of more than 40 new senior ...
(Date:4/24/2017)... ... April 24, 2017 , ... Come to PAINWeekEnd (PWE) Tampa ... Walter Blvd, for an educational and exciting 2-day program. , An attendee at ... this before they approach patients” about the course entitled Ain't Misbehavin': Decreasing and Managing ...
(Date:4/24/2017)... ... April 24, 2017 , ... A new global study of ... student well-being has seriously declined. "When disenfranchised youth from the heart of our ... State to turn the historic multi-ethnic and multi-religious powerhouses of the Middle East ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/19/2017)... - CRH Medical Corporation (TSX: CRH) (NYSE MKT: CRHM) (the "Company"), announces that ... Conference 2017 at the Sheraton Hotel in Toronto, Ontario ... of the Company is scheduled to present on Tuesday, May 2 ... the Chairman of the Board, Tony Holler will also ... For more ...
(Date:4/19/2017)... , April 19, 2017 Global Prostate ... report on the prostate cancer therapeutics market analyzes ... market. Increasing prevalence of prostate cancer, launch of ... the development of new drugs & therapeutic biological ... drug due to lesser side effects are some ...
(Date:4/19/2017)...  New research provides evidence that an old drug may ... study released today that will be presented at the ... Boston , April 22 to 28, 2017. ... disease, the oral drug levodopa has long been considered the ... the disease progresses, the effects of the medication can partially ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: