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Self-Control and Unhealthy Body Weight: The Role of Impulsivity and Restraint

Deborah Cobb-Clark, Sarah C. Dahmann, Daniel Kamhofer and Hannah Schildberg-Hörisch ()
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Hannah Schildberg-Hörisch: Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf

Authors registered in the RePEc Author Service: Hannah Schildberg-Hoerisch ()

No 14987, IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA)

Abstract: We examine the relationship between trait self-control and body weight. Data from a population representative household survey reveal that limited self-control is strongly associated with both objective and subjective measures of unhealthy body weight. Those with limited self-control are characterized by reduced exercising, repeated dieting, unhealthier eating habits, and poorer nutrition. We propose an empirical method to isolate two facets of self-control limitations—high impulsivity and low restraint. Each has differential predictive power. Physical activity, dieting, and overall body weight are more strongly associated with restraint; impulsivity is more predictive of when, where, and what people eat.

Keywords: brief self-control scale; obesity; body mass index; diet; exercise (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D91 I12 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 45 pages
Date: 2022-01
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe, nep-hea and nep-neu
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Forthcoming - forthcoming in: Economics & Human Biology

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Journal Article: Self-control and unhealthy body weight: The role of impulsivity and restraint (2023) Downloads
Working Paper: Self-control and unhealthy body weight: The role of impulsivity and restraint (2021) Downloads
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