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Do they Know what's at Risk? Health Risk Perception among the Obese

Joachim Winter () and Amelie Wuppermann

No 3864, CESifo Working Paper Series from CESifo Group Munich

Abstract: The perception of disease risks and risky health behaviors are closely associated. In this paper, we investigate the accuracy of disease risk perceptions among obese individuals. We compare subjective risk perceptions for various diseases elicited in the American Life Panel (ALP) to individual’s objective risks of the same diseases. We find that obese individuals significantly underestimate their 5-year risks of diabetes, arthritis or rheumatism, and hypertension, while they systematically overestimate their 5-year risks of a heart attack and a stroke. Obese individuals are thus aware of some but not all obesity-related risks. For given diseases, we document substantial heterogeneities in the accuracy of expectations across individuals.

Keywords: obesity; health risk; subjective expectations (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I10 I18 D84 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2012
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Related works:
Journal Article: DO THEY KNOW WHAT IS AT RISK? HEALTH RISK PERCEPTION AMONG THE OBESE (2014) Downloads
Working Paper: Do they know what is at risk? Health risk perception among the obese (2014)
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