1

How food affects political regimes

Apparently, a richer diet is associated with an increase in the middle class, which tends towards economic and political independence and democracy-fostering values.

Andrey Shcherbak, Senior Research Fellow, Laboratory for Comparative Social Research of the Higher School of Economics, has found, based on a cross-country comparative study using data on 157 countries, that a change in people’s eating habits can serve as a predictor of impending political change. His findings are published in the working paper ‘A Recipe for the Democracy?

The Spread of the European Diet and Political Change’ (the paper is in preparation for publication) and were presented during the regional conference of the World Association for Public Opinion Research (WAPOR) which was held on September 15-17 in Moscow, Russia.

Diets Drive Politics
According to Shcherbak, the recipe for democracy is fairly simple: above all, people should be able to eat well. The researcher uses a series of statistical models to prove this (the study uses OLS, factor analysis and SEM).

His focus is on a type of diet common among western Europeans, with plenty of meat, dairy products, confectionery, alcohol, and other foods available in sufficient quantities to most people.

Read more