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Anorexia, Body Image and Peer Effects: Evidence from a Sample of European Women

  • Joan Costa Font
  • Mireia Jofre-Bonet

Excessive preoccupation with self-image (or identity) is regarded as a factor contributing to the proliferation of food disorders, especially among young women. This paper models how self-image and peer effects influence health-related behaviours, specifically food disorders. We empirically test our claims using data from the European survey. Our findings suggest that the larger the peers' body-mass, the lower the likelihood of being anorexic. Self-image is correlated with body weight. We use several definitions of peers' body mass and we find that all are negatively associated with the likelihood of women being thin or extremely thin.

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File URL: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/pubs/download/dp1098.pdf
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Paper provided by Centre for Economic Performance, LSE in its series CEP Discussion Papers with number dp1098.

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Date of creation: Nov 2011
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Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp1098
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/series.asp?prog=CEP

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  1. 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.
  2. Howard Bodenhorn & Christopher S. Ruebeck, 2003. "The Economics of Identity and the Endogeneity of Race," NBER Working Papers 9962, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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