B3893 - Associations between religion and diet - 06/10/2021

B number: 
Principal applicant name: 
Dan Smith | Population Health Sciences, University of Bristol
Jimmy Morgan, Prof Jean Golding, Prof Kate Northstone
Title of project: 
Associations between religion and diet
Proposal summary: 

This project aims to explore the associations between religion and diet in ALSPAC. Several studies have suggested that Religious/Spiritual Beliefs and Behaviours (RSBB) such as belief in God and church attendance are associated with health (VanderWeele, 2017; Koenig et al 2012). The mediators of this association are not fully known, but likely include social support and health-promoting behaviours (e.g., reductions in smoking/alcohol/drug use; VanderVeele, 2017), as well as potential direct effects of religion on health (Hill & Pargament, 2003). One possible mediator on the causal pathway between RSBB and health is through diet. Many religions have rules and norms surrounding diet, and promoting health lifestyles more generally, so we may expect associations between religion and diet, and potentially downstream health effects. This project aims to explore these associations in ALSPAC.

Hill, P. C., & Pargament, K. I. (2003). Advances in the conceptualization and measurement of religion and spirituality: Implications for physical and mental health research. American psychologist, 58(1), 64.
Koenig, H., Koenig, H. G., King, D., & Carson, V. B. (2012). Handbook of religion and health. Oup Usa.
VanderWeele, T. J. (2017). Religious communities and human flourishing. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 26(5), 476-481.

Impact of research: 
To understand in greater detail how religion impacts diet, and potentially subsequent health. Depending on the findings, suggestions could be made regarding dietary recommendations.
Date proposal received: 
Monday, 4 October, 2021
Date proposal approved: 
Wednesday, 6 October, 2021
Epidemiology, Nutrition - breast feeding, diet