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View Diary: Women are fat because they don't do enough housework anymore. No, really, it's science! (182 comments)

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  •  Diarist demonstrates a shocking ignorance (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Treg, indubitably, ebohlman, davidinmaine, jop

    of this type of research and what it does and does not say.

    The research methodology reported is standard and has been followed for decades.

    The authors were clear from the beginning as to the scope of the study: Previous reports using the same or similar data had been used to study men in the workforce. Fifty years ago--for reasons that the study authors were not responsible--fewer women worked outside the home and more worked primarily as housekeepers.

    In order to look at changes in physical habits over time, it was necessary to look at that cohort. It's just that simple. And the data -- you know, those "facts" of which we liberals like to strut our superior acceptance--quantifies the reduction of physical activity that is part of our daily lives.

    Quite frankly, to those of us who work in the field, this is one of those "duh" studies--it's mildly interesting to see some hard data, but the conclusion has been obvious for some time now. Over the past decades, there has been a steady and significant decline in the amount of physical activity involved in our daily lives. And that decline in physical activity corresponds to the equally steady and significant increases in obesity.

    Is lack of activity the ONLY cause? Of course not--but this study was not designed to provide a unified theory of obesity in America. And it is absurd to expect that a review of time-study diaries would be required to account for all the social, cultural, and occupational changes that have taken place over the past 50 years. That's how overheated ideological diatribes work, but that's not how research works.

    Again, this study is about as dry and conventional as it gets. It looks at "housewives", not out of some primeval, antifeminist conspiracy, but because it was a group that had not been studied before and it was an attempt to see if the same patterns that had been shown to exist in outside workers also existed in that group that primarily worked in the home.

    And, surprise, the same pattern existed. There was no attempt to criticize those changes or to criticize women for working outside the home, no recommendations that women should spend more time at home, no "blaming" of women for becoming fat out of laziness.

    Just simple data.

    America works best when it works for everyone.

    by Azdak on Sat Mar 02, 2013 at 01:50:15 PM PST

    •  I am glad that I am (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      indubitably, ebohlman, davidinmaine, jop

      not the only one who found this diary to be over the top. Frankly, I am more used to this type of criticism coming from conservatives who don't agree with particular scientific findings. I agree the finding is not suprising, but sometimes it is helpful to quantitate these things anyway. The recommendations are also just standard public health ones, i.e., encouraging people to incorporate more activity in their days to make up for changes in our lifestyles.  

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