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Correlation And Causation In The News Between Obesity, Sleep, Religion And Motherhood

1722 words - 7 pages

Our current society is dealing with obesity more than our previous generations. Recent research studies shows there is a correlation between obesity and other disease such as cancer diabetes and high blood pressure just to name a few. Other studies show the lack of sleep can be linked to weight gain, religious socials can lead to weight gain, and women who bear children. This paper will discuss the evidence that three news paper articles on if they provide a correlation and causation between sleep, religion, motherhood, and obesity.
What evidence does the article provide for an association (correlation) between the phenomena discussed?
In the first news articles, The Link Between Sleep and Weight by Krisha McCoy 2014 describes how researchers believe that obesity and sleep deprivation epidemics may be related. A survey by the National Sleep Foundation, which 35 percent of Americans were sleeping for eight hours a night in 1998, compared with just 26 percent in 2005. The second article, Why Going to Church Can Make You Fat by Alice Park (2011) discusses how individuals attending religious function are more likely to become obese than those who do not attend as much. Northwestern University had done a study which consisted of analyzing “data from the Coronary Artery Risk Development, the study consisted of more than 2,000 participants’ with the ages between 20 and 32 over an 18 year period (Park, 2011). In the last and third article, Why having kids is bad for your health by Bonnie Rochman (2011) the evidence the author uses is a study by the University of Minnesota that “looked at 838 women and 682 men” body mass index (para. 2)” . Also it mentions a study of a similar study in an online “journal Pediatrics,” and other research that describes the difference of calorie increases by almost 2400 calories more than their counter-parts in the early 1990’s (para.7).
Drawing on your text’s discussion of how to interpret correlations, what would you want to check to be confident that there is actually a correlation?
To be confident there is actually a correlation, I would check to see if the correlation coefficient is “positive and close to 1… the points lie close to a descending straight line, the correlation coefficient is negative with a value close to -1” Bennett, Briggs, & Triola, 2014, (p. 242). A correlation does not always “imply causality”; there are three types of “possible explanations for a correlation”: coincidence, influence by a common cause, or one correlation variable may be the cause of another variable (p. 252).
What is the argument that the relationship is causal?
With the first article there are two reasons the researchers believe that there is a correlation between obesity and sleep deprivation. First, individuals that do not get enough sleep are less prone to exercise than those who do get enough sleep exercise regularly. Second, being sleep deprived has an effect on the appetite-controlling hormones ghrelin and leptin,...

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