Newswise — In interviews of more than 8,400 people in Russia, Belarus and Ukraine, sociologists found that respondents who were against restoring communism had healthier lifestyles and rated their health better than pro-communists. Specifically, pro-communists ate fewer vegetables and were 1.6 times more likely to be heavy vodka drinkers than anti-communists. The study was published recently in the journal Social Science and Medicine. "This result is consistent with studies that maintain democracy is better for an individual's health," said UAB medical sociologist William C. Cockerham, Ph.D., who led the study. "Although this research isn't the final word, it suggests, nevertheless, that the way people live and how healthy they are is strongly influenced by the society in which they live, including its politics."