i actually mentioned some real 'scientific studies'. one example is 'food and park environments: neighborhood level risks for child obesity in east los angeles" by kipke, iverson, et. al. google it on pub med. there are hundreds or thousands of related studies linked on the same page with conflicting results, which still point in the same direction. but you can find one to confirm any bias. (this study shows for example that most grocery stores in poor areas don't actually carry fresh produce, and also that recreational parks are fairly minimal). the 'anecdotal' study i mentioned, if true, is telling nonetheless---its all the science you really need: the ratio of poor/rich is 1/5 in conveniance, so that means the hurdle is 5 times higher. as for the walking programs, i said i am familiar with them, and they only appeal to some people (in fact, mostly elderly).
i am not going to go through 60 pages to find out if they control for demographics; also its a '99 study. and i dought they do. alot of studies are poorly thought out and i don't get paid to find their faults though the people who produce them get paid in full.
and my main point was that if you weant to talk about personal responsibility it has to be universal, not just for the scapegoated irresposnsible. for example, a group FRAC which is now trying to convince corner markets to carry fresh produce and other things besides mambo sauce and junk food, if you look carefully, has on its board of directors people from nestle, food lobbying groups, etc. Its the fox in the henhouse. even PTA has or had on its board of directors the head of coca cola. talking loud and saying nothing.
--- On Mon, 1/5/09, Michael H Goldhaber <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> From: Michael H Goldhaber <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: Re: Obesity and povery (was: Liposunctioning our fuel)
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Date: Monday, January 5, 2009, 6:05 PM
> I don't believe any obese poor people have entered into
> our discussion to "blame the system." Being
> neither obese nor poor, I did blame "the system"
> in part for their problems, and I am far from alone with
> this assertion.
> The causes of "overweight" or obesity involve
> many factors, including material conditions, personal coping
> capacity and willpower, culture, (sometimes in complex ways)
> physiology (also in complex ways) and possibly genetic
> inheritance. Data from many cities suggest that the poor are
> often isolated from good means of reaching a variety of
> sources of nutritious foods at affordable prices, or are
> relative to the better off. That has to make a difference,
> and the study MB cites does not refute that conclusion.
> Eric suggests frozen vegetables. If you have a chance to
> shop for a family only occasionally and do not have a large
> and reliable freezer section in your refrigerator this is
> not too helpful.
> Another cause of obesity that may affect the poor is sleep
> deprivation. I leave it to your imagination to come up with
> reasons why this might be prevalent. According to my friend
> Gayle Greene's excellent and exhaustive study of science
> and science policy and other factors related to sleep ,
> entitled "Insomniac", studies show that sleep
> deprivation leads to increased appetite for fats, salt, and
> sweets. So might cultural factors or genetic ones.
> In addition, the idea that "you can never be too thin
> or too rich" is a very recent one. (Much debate
> continues, among epidemiologists, in fact, about what counts
> as dangerous obesity. Certainly at the start of the 20th c.,
> the well-off in America mostly took pride in ample girth,
> which distinguished them from most of the poor at the time.
> It may be that that attitude was until recently still
> prevalent in minority communities where malnutrition in more
> extreme forms lasted longer than among the majority.
> My conclusion is that it is wrong to argue simply that the
> problem is that the obese don't take responsibility for
> their status, in a society that eagerly produces huge
> amounts of fatty, salty and sweet foods, advertises and
> promotes them non-stop, makes them more readily available
> than other sources of foods, etc.
> On Jan 5, 2009, at 11:36 AM, Michael Balter wrote:
> > I would hope that mart would take a look at the study
> I cited to see if it was properly controlled for the factors
> he mentions, otherwise I "might suspect" that he
> is relying too much on his own hunches as well as anecdotal
> material like the MSNBC report he linked to. He is also, I
> am sure, perfectly capable of finding actual studies where
> these issues are explored, which is what I tried to do. I
> could be wrong about all this, of course, and there might be
> studies that completely contradict those that I cited. If
> so, it "might be interesting" to see them (as I
> pointed out, the one Michael G. cited was not on point.)
> Even a science for the people needs to be based on science.
> > Taking personal responsibility is not the same thing
> as "just saying no." Eg, there is no contradiction
> between taking personal responsibility and getting support
> from a larger group, and many folks who try to lose weight
> do so together with other people, friends, etc. In one of my
> earlier messages I cited a program, a partnership between
> government and NGOs, designed to help Black women eat better
> and lose weight. If those trying to lose weight want to
> blame the system for their obesity, fine, but that won't
> shed pounds unless they spend quite a few hours each day on
> a picket line somewhere (and run rather than walk.) And they
> will be dead of diabetes or heart disease long before the
> system tumbles.
> > MB
> > On Mon, Jan 5, 2009 at 8:19 PM, mart
> <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> > it might be interesting to know the demographics (age
> distribution) for black women. i might suspect the lower
> income thinner women may be older and also from a different
> tradition / generation than the younger group.
> > i have no dought 'culture' is involved, but
> culture is real general. also, when dealing with
> 'personal responsibility' it takes 2 to tango---its
> difficult being a pacifist in a war zone. alot of people
> who promote the 'just say no' bootstraps doctrine
> seem ignorant of the 'scientific research' on
> 'rationality' and decisionmaking. (eg the bystander
> effect). there is also a huge industry in fake 'just
> say no' interventions which are guaranteed to fail, yet
> profitable and conveniant.
> > --******************************************
> > Michael Balter
> > Contributing Correspondent, Science
> > Adjunct Professor of Journalism,
> > Boston University
> > Email: [log in to unmask]
> > Website: michaelbalter.com
> > Balter's Blog: michael-balter.blogspot.com
> > ******************************************