Nation’s Most Overweight, Obese States Voted for McCain

Discussion in 'Politics' started by PunditP, Dec 7, 2008.

  1. PunditP
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    PunditP Rookie

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    When it comes to weight and politics, the latest presidential election offers us some food for thought. One particularly interesting fact is that, across the nation, the states that voted for Sen. John McCain in the general election tended to be home to the highest percentage of overweight and obese people when compared to the states that voted for Barack Obama – and not just by a small margin.

    In examining the statistics at StateMaster.com, one finds that, of the ten most overweight and obese states, only one – Michigan – voted for Obama. What’s more, the figures on the other end are just as skewed. When it comes to the nation’s ten least overweight and obese states, Utah is the only one that went for McCain. But before one can begin to digest the implications of this statistical morsel, an important point ought to be made.

    First, it should be noted that it would absurd to think that being overweight or obese causes people to vote for McCain (or to dislike Obama). Indeed, just because there is a correlation between the weight of a state’s citizens and that state’s presidential preference, it doesn’t mean that either variable influenced the other. However, there is a statistically significant relationship between them – even if, yes, the percentages are close. Consider this, the average rate of overweight and obese citizens in each of the states McCain won was 57.67%, while the average rate in the state’s Obama won was 54.9%. Although this difference of 2.77% might sound minuscule, when you look at how the red and blue states ranked compared to each other, the correlation becomes much more obvious.

    For example, if you assign each state an ‘obesity number’ based on it’s ranking in the list below, with West Virginia, the nation’s most overweight and obese state, given a 50… Alabama a 49… down to Massachusetts, the nation’s trimmest state, given a 1 – and then compared the average obesity number given to states that voted for McCain to the average number given to those that voted for Obama, one sees a telling correlation: the average red state scored a 33.6 while the average blue state scored a 19.1. This is substantial considering that if there were no correlation between a state’s rate of overweight and obese citizens and their voting preference, you would expect the average obesity number of both red and blue states to be around 25.

    For all you amateur statisticians out there, and for those who are quick to point out the crudeness of the ‘obesity number’ illustration, you may be comforted to know that in terms of the percentages listed below, the differences between the sample means of both the red and blue states, in comparison to the national mean, were both statistically significant (p < .01). This of course means that it is less than 1% likely that the distribution of the red and blue states in the list below is due to chance, assuming that the rate of overweight and obese citizens has nothing to do with voting preferences.

    Upon contemplating these facts, however, one might very naturally and rapidly come to wonder, “So what?” At least I did. For me, the obvious question is why did the heavier states tend to vote for McCain, and the trimmer ones for Obama, if not by chance? While the answer to this question clearly requires quite a bit more than correlation statistics, StateMaster can help point us in the right direction. StateMaster does this by allowing us to see what other metrics are correlated with states’ choices for president in 2008.

    Although failing to truly “explain” the correlation between weight and states’ presidential voting preferences, these similar correlations for other important metrics help ‘fill out the picture,’ so to speak. For example, look at how the charts for education (percentage of citizens attaining a bachelors degree) and economic prosperity (perhaps best illustrated by home values) compare to the list below. StateMaster’s statistics show that high rates of overweight and obese citizens are also strongly correlated with low levels of educational achievement and below average levels of economic success, as measured by home values. As for exactly why states with these challenges tended to vote for McCain in the 2008 presidential election is still something that can definitely be explored and discussed much further.

    Despite only being able to scratch the surface of this issue, I hope to have at least demonstrated how awesome sites like StateMaster.com offer a window into examining important political, social and economic issues simply by compiling and ranking states based on vital statistical metrics.

    I haven't made enough posts to link to the list image, but you can find it here: punditpolitics.files.wordpress.com/2008/11/overweight-obese-state-rankings1.jpg

    For more on John McCain, try my McCain IQ quiz: punditpolitics.com/political_iq_tests_center.htm
     
  2. Lycurgus
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    Lycurgus Who is Obama, really...??

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    And to think people get paid for this. LOL

    Thank God my state didn't vote for McCain, I would have to make an appointment with my doctor. ha
     
  3. editec
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    editec Mr. Forgot-it-All

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    Been playing with StateMaster.com and it looks like a very useful resource
     
  4. Epsilon Delta
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    Epsilon Delta Jedi Master

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    You should try NationMaster.com too.

    asoduihspdoaiudhsop.
     
  5. Xenophon
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    Xenophon Gone and forgotten

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    No stats has more fat bastards then NY, and they voted for BO.
     
  6. Chris
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    Chris Gold Member

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    Well, they wanted to vote for Mike Huckabee...

    [​IMG]
     
  7. bk1983
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    bk1983 Off too Kuwait..

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    Sorry but you fail, the fattest states are Mississippi,West Virginia,Alabama,and Louisiana. Those are the top 4 states in the coveted Obese analysis. All of these states voted for McCain/Palin.. NY is ranked #37 no where near the top. The leanest states are Hawaii and Colorado who of course voted for Obama.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2008
  8. Xenophon
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    Xenophon Gone and forgotten

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    I actually heard the woosh go over your head.

    You have no sense of humor whatsoever do you, it's all partisan politics.
     
  9. Xenophon
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    Xenophon Gone and forgotten

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    BTW, that is just a list some guy posted, how could anyone claim to know the median weight of people in any states, you would have to be an idiot to believe in such a list.
     
  10. RetiredGySgt
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    RetiredGySgt Platinum Member

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    So with all this earth shattering ground breaking ( pun intended) information now available, tell us? Who got the most red headed step children to vote for them?
     

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