Discovered: The predictable race and political affiliation of "reverse racism" victims; car crashes are more deadly for the morbidly obese; ADHD on the rise in high-income minority communities; plain labeling could cut smoking rates.
'Reverse racism' mostly targets white Republicans. It's really hard being a white Republican, according to all the white Republicans claiming to be victims of "reverse racism." Stanford University researchers studied how people perceive this problem, in which people historically responsible for perpetrating racism supposedly get the tables turned on themselves. They found that the groups most likely to believe that they've been reverse discriminated against are conservative Caucasians and southern Evangelicals. "We talk about whites who claim reverse discrimination a lot, but we don't often study them systematically," says Stanford sociology professor Aliya Saperstein. "The issue of reporting racial discrimination is such a loaded one. So, we were curious about who the white people were who would say out loud to a survey interviewer that they had been treated unfairly because of their race." [Stanford University]
Car crashes are more dangerous for obese people. You might think that thin people lacking in adipose body cushioning would get more seriously hurt in a car crash than hefty drivers—but you'd be wrong. According to a new study published in Emergency Medical Journal, morbidly obese people were 80 percent more likely to die in a car crash compared with those of normal weight. People with a BMI in the "obese" range were still 20 percent more likely to perish in an automobile collision. The researchers pointed to cardiac problems brought on by obesity as a potential factor in this phenomenon. Underweight people were also more likely to die in a collision than those of normal weight—but only if they were men. [Scientific American]
ADHD is a growing problem for high-income minority children. Many people consider ADHD to be a problem disproportionately affecting low-income kids, but new findings published in JAMA Pediatrics report that the attention disorder also affects high-income children. However, it's much more pronounced in minority groups within upper socioeconomic ranks than it is for whites in the same cohort, according to Kaiser Permanente researchers. ADHD diagnoses in African American children went up 70 percent between 2001 and 2010. It increased by 60 percent among Latino children in the same period. The problem could be attributed to better diagnosis rather than higher incidence, the researchers note. They write that the trend "likely represent[s] an effort by these highly educated parents to seek help for their children who may not be fulfilling their expectations for schoolwork." [Los Angeles Times]
Make cigarette packaging less colorful, and fewer people will smoke. If cigarette packs were stripped of their bright colors and bold logos, would people be less interested in buying tobacco products? A new study led by the University of Cambridge's Theresa Marteau finds evidence that they very well might. After two years of requiring generic packaging for cigarettes, the number of smokers would drop by one percentage point, and the number of children who start smoking would decline by three points, according to Marteau's model. "Currently, approximately 10 million adults in Britain smoke," Marteau notes. "A one percentage point decline—from 21 percent of the population to 20 percent—would equate to 500,000 people who will not suffer the health effects of smoking." [University of Cambridge]