Do they know what is at risk? Health risk perception among the obese
Joachim Winter () and
Munich Reprints in Economics from University of Munich, Department of Economics
The perception of health risks and risky health behaviors are closely associated. In this paper, we investigate the accuracy of health risk perceptions among obese individuals, aged 50-62 years. We compare subjective risk perceptions for various diseases elicited in the American Life Panel to individual's objective risks of the same diseases. We find that obese individuals significantly underestimate their 5-year risks of arthritis or rheumatism and hypertension, whereas 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 health 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)
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Published in Health Economics 5 23(2014): pp. 564-585
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Journal Article: DO THEY KNOW WHAT IS AT RISK? HEALTH RISK PERCEPTION AMONG THE OBESE (2014)
Working Paper: Do they Know what's at Risk? Health Risk Perception among the Obese (2012)
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:lmu:muenar:22167
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