Eating Behavior and Social Interactions from Adolescence to Adulthood

40 Pages Posted: 3 Jul 2012

See all articles by Luisa Corrado

Luisa Corrado

University of Rome Tor Vergata Department of Economics and Finance

Roberta Distante

University of Copenhagen - Department of Economics

Date Written: June 19, 2012

Abstract

This paper analyzes the importance of social ties for eating behavior of US youth. We propose a novel approach that addresses identification of social endogenous effects. We overcome the problem of measuring the separate impact of endogenous and contextual effects on individual Body Mass Index (BMI) in a dynamic linear-in-means model, where individual- and group-specifi…c unobservable effects are controlled for. We show that the main drivers of eating behavior are habituation and imitation effects. Imitation effects explain most of the variation in BMI of individuals who were normal-weight and overweight during adolescence. Obese adolescents, instead, become future obese adults through wrong habits enforced by imitative behavior.

Keywords: overweight, obesity, peer effects, social networks, personal history, dynamic linear-in-means model

JEL Classification: D10, D71, I19, J11, Z13

Suggested Citation

Corrado, Luisa and Distante, Roberta, Eating Behavior and Social Interactions from Adolescence to Adulthood (June 19, 2012). Univ. of Copenhagen Dept. of Economics Discussion Paper No. 12-03. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2098920 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2098920

Luisa Corrado (Contact Author)

University of Rome Tor Vergata Department of Economics and Finance ( email )

Via Columbia n.2
Rome, rome 00100
Italy

Roberta Distante

University of Copenhagen - Department of Economics ( email )

Øster Farimagsgade 5
Bygning 26
1353 Copenhagen K.
Denmark

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