Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Prev Med. 2013 Nov;57(5):721-4. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2013.07.026. Epub 2013 Aug 28.

The association between county political inclination and obesity: Results from the 2012 presidential election in the United States.

Author information

  • 1Department of Geography, UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), 1255 Bunche Hall, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1524, USA. Electronic address:



We examined whether stable, county-level, voter preferences were significantly associated with county-level obesity prevalence using data from the 2012 US Presidential election. County voting preference for the 2012 Republican Party presidential candidate was used as a proxy for voter endorsement of personal responsibility approaches to reducing population obesity risk versus approaches featuring government-sponsored, multi-sectoral efforts like those recommended by the Centers for Disease Control Centers for Disease Control (CDC, 2009).


Cartographic visualization and spatial analysis were used to evaluate the geographic clustering of obesity prevalence rates by county, and county-level support for the Republican Party candidate in the 2012 U.S. presidential election. The spatial analysis informed the spatial econometric approach employed to model the relationship between political preferences and other covariates with obesity prevalence.


After controlling for poverty rate, percent African American and Latino populations, educational attainment, and spatial autocorrelation in the error term, we found that higher county-level obesity prevalence rates were associated with higher levels of support for the 2012 Republican Party presidential candidate.


Future public health efforts to understand and reduce obesity risk may benefit from increased surveillance of this and similar linkages between political preferences and health risks.

© 2013.


Obesity; Politics; Spatial analysis; Spatial econometrics; Voting

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk