Overweight/Obesity and time preference: evidence from a survey among adults in the UK

Touray, Morro M. L. and Cohen, David R. and Williams, Simon and Alam, Mohammed Fasihul and Groves, Sam and Longo, Mirella and Gage, Heather (2022) Overweight/Obesity and time preference: evidence from a survey among adults in the UK. Obesity Facts: the European Journal of Obesity. ISSN 1662-4033

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Abstract

Introduction: Overweight and obesity is a global problem incurring substantial health and economic implications. This has also been highlighted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic which has disproportionately affected overweight and obese individuals. Most of the interventions have concentrated on promotion of physical activities and healthy eating which may involve current sacrifices for future health gains. The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between bodyweight and how individuals state they would trade-off immediate income for higher amounts in the future (time preference). Methods: An online survey was conducted targeting adults aged >16 years in the UK (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales) from January 1, 2016 to July 31, 2016. Using paid online adverts, as well as personal and professional networks for distribution of links to the online survey, the questionnaire asked respondents to report socio-economic and demographic information, height, and weight and to complete a time preference exercise. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics; associations were explored between BMI and respondents’ characteristics and time preference using Spearman rank-order correlation and χ2 tests as appropriate. We adopted STROBE guidelines for the reporting of the study. Results: A total of 561 responses were analysed (female = 293, males = 268). The relationship between time preference and overweight/obesity, using BMI as the measure is highly significant (χ2 = 95.92: p < 0.001). Individuals of normal weight have low time preferences and are more likely to invest in activities in a bid to reap future health benefits. There are also significant relationships between BMI and employment status (χ2 = 37.03;

Item Type: Article
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Divisions: Institutes and Academies > Institute of Management and Health > Sport Health and Outdoor Education
Depositing User: Natalie Williams
Date Deposited: 03 May 2022 12:58
Last Modified: 03 May 2022 12:58
URI: https://repository.uwtsd.ac.uk/id/eprint/1966

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