Shared Norms and Their Explanation for the Social Clustering of Obesity

Hruschka, in his study, Shared Norms and Their Explanation for the Social Clustering of Obesity by, sought to investigate the effects of shared norms on social clustering of Obesity. There existed theoretical knowledge that social ties serve as mediums of spread of ill health. There was no research conducted to explain the mechanisms by which such infections could spread through sociocultural interactions (Hruschka, 2009). Using shared body size as the basis of their research, Hruschka et al tested the role it plays in social contagion of the body size as well as obesity (Hruschka, 2011). The researchers used data collected from 101 women with social ties in Phoenix and Arizona in 2009. They measured in 3 different ways to evaluate the indirect effect that social norms have on the body mass index (BMI). Their results confirmed Christakis and Flower’s finding that BMI and obesity cluster socially (Christakis, 2007). However, they found that body size norms have very small portion of the effects (20 percent) in 1 of the 3 measurement pathways. People may share the norm for body size that influences their behaviors that are related to the BMI

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