Obesity and the Update of Survival Expectations

Beatriz Novak, University of Wisconsin at Madison

There is almost no evidence on whether individuals acknowledge the possible deleterious effects that excess body weight may have on their health and on their survival perspectives. Perceiving the threat that excess body weight posits to survival may motivate behavioral changes conducive to both weight gain prevention and weight loss encouragement when necessary. To the best of my knowledge, there is almost no research done in this area or on whether recent serious obesity-related health problems may influence updates of these expectations. I am, therefore, interested in answering the following questions: (1) are there differences in the determinants of the subjective survival expectations between individuals with excess body weight and those that are considered as normal weight individuals? and (2) do these groups of individuals update their survival expectations differently in the presence of obesity-related health shocks?

  See extended abstract

Presented in Session 161: Health in Later Life