The determinants of misreporting weight and height: The role of social norms
Given the lack of availability of measured anthropometric data for the whole of Spain, this paper combines data from the 2006 Catalan Health and Health Examination Surveys to compute the size of weight and height self-reporting biases. The underlying determinants of these biases are then analyzed, placing special emphasis on the role played by social norms. Our findings show that social norms regarding "ideal" weight (proxied by the average weight of a reference group based on gender and age) tend to affect the self-reporting weight (relative) bias. This finding suggests that the more satisfied individuals feel with their own body image the less prone they are to under-report their weight, although this effect is contingent upon the definition of social norms and the correction of endogeneity. However, we found no evidence of a similar impact caused by the social norms governing height. The relationship found between the measured and self-reported anthropometric data was applied to the Spanish National Health Survey (NHS) so as to correct the self-reported information contained in it. After correcting for self-reporting errors, both the BMI and the prevalence of obesity were found to be significantly underestimated, with instances of misreporting being more prevalent among women.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- repec:att:wimass:9127 is not listed on IDEAS
- Fabrice Etilé, 2007. "Social norms, ideal body weight and food attitudes," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(9), pages 945-966.
- David G. Blanchflower & Andrew J. Oswald & Bert Van Landeghem, 2009.
"Imitative Obesity and Relative Utility,"
Journal of the European Economic Association,
MIT Press, vol. 7(2-3), pages 528-538, 04-05.
- Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew J. & van Landeghem, Bert, 2009. "Imitative Obesity and Relative Utility," IZA Discussion Papers 4010, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- David G. Blanchflower & Andrew J. Oswald & Bert Van Landeghem, 2008. "Imitative Obesity and Relative Utility," NBER Working Papers 14337, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Burkhauser, Richard V. & Cawley, John, 2008.
"Beyond BMI: The value of more accurate measures of fatness and obesity in social science research,"
Journal of Health Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 519-529, March.
- John Cawley & Richard V. Burkhauser, 2006. "Beyond BMI: The Value of More Accurate Measures of Fatness and Obesity in Social Science Research," NBER Working Papers 12291, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Susan Averett & Sanders Korenman, 1993.
"The Economic Reality of the Beauty Myth,"
NBER Working Papers
4521, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics And Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753, August.
- Oswald, Andrew J., 2008.
"On the Curvature of the Reporting Function from Objective Reality to Subjective Feelings,"
IZA Discussion Papers
3344, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Oswald, Andrew J., 2008. "On the curvature of the reporting function from objective reality to subjective feelings," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 100(3), pages 369-372, September.
- Oswald, Andrew J, 2008. "On the Curvature of the Reporting Function from Objective Reality to Subjective Feelings," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 839, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
- Danubio, Maria Enrica & Miranda, Gaetano & Vinciguerra, Maria Giulia & Vecchi, Elvira & Rufo, Fabrizio, 2008. "Comparison of self-reported and measured height and weight: Implications for obesity research among young adults," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 181-190, March.
- Brock, William A & Durlauf, Steven N, 2001.
"Discrete Choice with Social Interactions,"
Review of Economic Studies,
Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(2), pages 235-60, April.
- Cristina Hernández-Quevedo & Andrew M Jones & Nigel Rice, 2005.
"Reporting bias and heterogeneity in selfassessed health. Evidence from the British Household Panel Survey,"
Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers
05/04, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
- Cristina Hernandez-Quevedo & Andrew M Jones & Nigel Rice, . "Reporting Bias and Heterogeneity in Self-Assessed Health. Evidence from the British Household Panel Survey," Discussion Papers 04/18, Department of Economics, University of York.
- Andrew J. Oswald & Nattavudh Powdthavee, 2007. "Review 1: Obesity, Unhappiness, and The Challenge of Affluence: Theory and Evidence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(521), pages 441-454, 06.
- Baron-Epel, Orna & Kaplan, Giora, 2001. "General subjective health status or age-related subjective health status: does it make a difference?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 53(10), pages 1373-1381, November.
- Oswald, Andrew J. & Powdthavee, Nattavudh, 2007.
"Obesity, Unhappiness, and The Challenge of Affluence: Theory and Evidence,"
IZA Discussion Papers
2717, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Oswald, Andrew J & Powdthavee, Nattavudh, 2007. "Obesity, Unhappiness, and The Challenge of Affluence : Theory and Evidence," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 793, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
- Mary Burke & Frank Heiland, 2006.
"Social dynamics of obesity,"
Public Policy Discussion Paper
06-5, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
- Zhang, Qi & Wang, Youfa, 2004. "Socioeconomic inequality of obesity in the United States: do gender, age, and ethnicity matter?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 58(6), pages 1171-1180, March.
- Powdthavee, Nattavudh, 2009.
"Ill-health as a household norm: Evidence from other people's health problems,"
Social Science & Medicine,
Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 251-259, January.
- N Powdthavee, 2008. "Ill-Health as a Household Norm: Evidence from Other People's Health Problems," Discussion Papers 08/21, Department of Economics, University of York.
- Lindeboom, Maarten & van Doorslaer, Eddy, 2004.
"Cut-point shift and index shift in self-reported health,"
Journal of Health Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 23(6), pages 1083-1099, November.
- Lindeboom, Maarten & van Doorslaer, Eddy, 2004. "Cut-Point Shift and Index Shift in Self-Reported Health," IZA Discussion Papers 1286, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- John Cawley, 2004. "The Impact of Obesity on Wages," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(2).
- Manski, Charles F, 1993.
"Identification of Endogenous Social Effects: The Reflection Problem,"
Review of Economic Studies,
Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(3), pages 531-42, July.
- Costa-Font, Joan & Gil, Joan, 2008. "What lies behind socio-economic inequalities in obesity in Spain A decomposition approach," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 61-73, February.
- Groot, Wim, 2000. "Adaptation and scale of reference bias in self-assessments of quality of life," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 403-420, May.
- Morris, Stephen, 2006. "Body mass index and occupational attainment," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 347-364, March.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:ehbiol:v:9:y:2011:i:1:p:78-91. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.