Obesity and Subjective Probabilities Of Survival

Beatriz Novak, University of Wisconsin at Madison

Obesity and overweight are related to an increase in the risk of hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease among other health-related conditions. Even though obesity is also associated with an increased risk of mortality individuals appear to underestimate the mortality risks of excessive body weight. Self-perceptions of weight status may be misguided and survival expectations too optimistic thus affecting decisions about behavior changes that may result in an adequate weight and consequent health benefits. The aim of the present study is investigate whether individuals are aware of the mortality risks associated with excessive body weight as reflected by their estimations of their own survival probabilities. The data used is from the Health and Retirement Study. Results suggest that overall individuals seem not to be fully aware of the increased mortality risk associated with excessive body weight.

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Presented in Poster Session 5