American women are skeptical about government’s ability to positively influence our living habits, according to a recent poll by the Independent Women’s Forum. Twice as many women believe that government’s efforts will be useless or counterproductive than believe they will be succeed at encouraging healthier choices.
Yet even this finding may overstate what women believe government should be doing on our behalf. That’s because women often have only a small part of the story when it comes to health information.
Given that Americans have recently been bombarded with alarmist headlines blaming excess salt consumption for millions of deaths, it’s pretty amazing that only about half of American women see a role for government in regulating salt.
And when IWF asked that questions again, with the preface that “new research on the topic has questioned the relationship between salt intake and cardiovascular (heart) disease,” just 29 percent of women agreed with the statement: “Government still should try to reduce how much salt and sodium people eat” while 52 percent said, “It is best to wait to study the issue more before the government reduces how much salt and sodium people eat.”
Responsible media and public officials who actually want to encourage better health outcomes for Americans should keep this in mind. While Americans distrust both the media and politicians, the information they have does have an impact on their support for policies.