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Linking risk attitudes, time preferences, and body mass index in Catalonia

Wisdom Dogbe and José M. Gil

Economics & Human Biology, 2019, vol. 35, issue C, 73-81

Abstract: Obesity is projected to increase in the coming years, despite the various socioeconomic policies implemented by governments and policy makers. As a result, some studies have suggested that obesity should be looked at from a psychological point of view, that is, individuals’ propensity to become addicted to the consumption of fat-rich foods. Although previous studies have supported this, the results have been inconclusive: methodologically and geographically. This study uses a robust approach to elicit the risk and time preferences of food consumers. It goes further to ascertain the correlations between these parameters and obesity. Despite the methodological and geographical differences, our results support a strong relationship between body mass Index and risk aversion, but not for loss aversion. In addition, time discounting significantly influences individuals’ propensity to increase body mass Index.

Keywords: Prospect theory; Risk preferences; Time preferences; Body mass index; Catalonia (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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DOI: 10.1016/j.ehb.2019.05.005

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