Friday, September 16, 2016

Underclass, overweight, and out-of-wedlock

Heartiste asserts:
So it’s in the lower classes (now gradually expanding into the working and middle classes) where the sexual market has responded to the changing incentives and women have resorted to more “slut signaling” accouterments like tattoos, skimpy trashy clothes, and yes even bastard spawn (a single mom is a slutty mom). 
In the upper classes, paternal investment is still important, so we see less of this among the women who have kept to the traditional SMV norms of their sex: slenderness, clear skin, and childlessness.
He's entitled to his own opinions but he's not entitled to his own facts! Let's see what the data say about those assertions.

The following table contains corpulence scores computed by taking the percentages of women, by social class, whose weight was deemed to be "somewhat above average" and adding that figure to twice the percentages judged to be "considerably above average". The higher the score, the fatter the women. All responses are from 2004, the only year the GSS asked its survey conductors to record the perceived weight of the people they interviewed (n = 1,228):

ClassFat
Upper22.8%
Middle25.7%
Working38.2%
Lower45.5%

It's been long remarked that in the Western world the poor aren't starving, they're obese. And so nearly half of them are.

What about the bastard spawn? The following table shows the percentages of women, by social class, who had at least one child and who were married (or widowed) at the time of their participation in the survey. For contemporary relevance all responses are from 2004 onward (n = 6,087):

ClassMarriedMoms
Middle81.3%
Upper81.0%
Working65.2%
Lower45.1%

Looks like what we have here is empirical verification of trends detected by perspicacious field observation. This isn't the first time and it won't be the last.

GSS variables used: INTRWGHT, SEX(2), YEAR(2004-2014), CHILDS(1-8), MARITAL, CLASS

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Lower class obesity may be traced to a few likely suspects. A diet high in carbohydrates, with some trans-fats thrown in, will puff up a person. Wash that down with the high fructose corn syrup found in drinks and many foods, and you can pretty much guarantee that the body will balloon up.
Some of that is due to income restrictions and food desert situations, although some more is due to the seemingly addictive power of convenience foods.

Audacious Epigone said...

Anon,

If you can afford a smart phone, multiple vehicles, and cable, you can afford to eat healthily. The correlation between high time preference and low IQ--which isn't perfect but does exist--is probably the biggest single 'culprit'. In the modern West staying lean requires making lots of low time preference choices. The upper and middle classes are simply better at doing that.

JayMan said...

Anonymous:

"Lower class obesity may be traced to a few likely suspects. A diet high in carbohydrates, with some trans-fats thrown in, will puff up a person. Wash that down with the high fructose corn syrup found in drinks and many foods, and you can pretty much guarantee that the body will balloon up."

No one knows what has caused the modern rise in obesity. All the usual suspects stand without proof, and are, at least for now, likely unprovable.

JayMan said...

Here there is an obvious racial confound. Also, how was weight assessed?

JayMan said...

" The correlation between high time preference and low IQ--which isn't perfect but does exist--is probably the biggest single 'culprit'. In the modern West staying lean requires making lots of low time preference choices. The upper and middle classes are simply better at doing that."

I seriously doubt that thin people stay thin because of what they do. Maybe on the margins, but the bulk (so to speak) of thin people today are simply "naturally" thin.

The link with IQ is due to pleiotropy.

Audacious Epigone said...

Jayman,

Right, it's speculation without double-blind empirical verification. The rise in obesity is probably not genetic either, though--at least not in the way we understand it in the vernacular. Whatever is causing it probably has a large genetic component, but the independent variable today compared to a century ago is presumably NOT genetic but instead some sort of environmental change. People who diet and do anaerobic exercise do often lose body fat, at least temporarily, but a large portion don't keep the weight off. My guess is that people with higher time preferences are overrepresented among those who put the pounds back on (and then some).

As for the racial confounds, yes, although it doesn't change the thrust if we just look at whites. I was specifically trying to evaluate Heartiste's assertions, though, and those didn't involve race so neither did I.

Succantation said...

The cause is pretty easy to explain.

For all our history, we got sugar intensity preference = 1.0. What happens when we don't have a time-lapse difference for selection? We get lower on the sub-optimality curve for trade-offs.

More exposure, weaker willpower = more effects.

Leaner people just have multiple combinatory factors.
sugar intensity preference / tasting palette = 0.6
brain-fullness mean response time = 5 minutes
social anxiety / propensity towards external validation cues of self-perception = 2.4
so... on... and so forth.

They don't keep the weight off because of two things.
1. Metabolism drops in proportion to weight decreases. Less cellular respiration by mass = less absolute mass loss per unit of time.
2. Increased appetite towards equilibrum weight set point, heightened palettes

Furthermore.
3. Easy overproportioning of caloric intake. Before. Bagel=180 calories, x% lower in g. Now. 300 Calories.

Weight gain is not by 'binges' on buffets. Weight gain is caused by aggregate average net caloric excesses.. 200 calories here and there every day.. and you guess it.