Does someone’s diet predict their political leanings? Hard to say for sure, but at least one study asked that question and found that conservatives are just as likely to avoid gluten in their diets as others on the political spectrum.
Published this June in the academic journal Agricultural and Human Values, the study, called ‘Gluten Aversion is Not Limited to the Political Left,” notes that while collecting data on the number of people who avoid gluten as well as political affiliation is simple, identifying exactly why the two intersect is difficult. Mainly because there are many reasons why a specific correlation between diet and politics could exist.
The authors describe four potential scenarios that could cause a person’s eating habits to become linked to political leanings. In one example, the authors say, health problems could hypothetically lead someone to “both conclude that gluten is harming one’s health and that government should provide universal health care.”
If that sounds like a liberal stance, you’re correct, and the authors note that: “These specific examples are contrived to show how someone could become more liberal and begin avoiding gluten. Of course, the opposite examples might show how someone could become more conservative and begin consuming gluten.”
Conducted in September 2017, the study surveyed 1,000 people in the United States. Researchers found that 29 percent of people surveyed believed avoiding gluten would improve their health.
According to the study, people who described themselves as leaning liberal and people who identified as conservative reported the same degree of gluten-avoidance.
Of the 1,000 respondents, 41 have celiac disease. Researchers noted that the sample size was too small to draw meaningful conclusions. They did note that more research may be needed on the relationship between disease and political ideology.
Whatever your political opinions, according to this study, there’s a chance they relate to your opinions on food products.
And anyone who’s ever gotten into a debate about the gluten-free diet knows that – sometimes – it can be just as polarizing as talking politics.