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Body Weight and Self-ratings of Health

Kenneth F. Ferraro and Yan Yu
Journal of Health and Social Behavior
Vol. 36, No. 3 (Sep., 1995), pp. 274-284
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2137343
Page Count: 11
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Body Weight and Self-ratings of Health
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Abstract

Does body weight affect self ratings of health? If yes, are health ratings affected by being overweight, underweight, or both? These questions are examined in this research note with data from a national sample of adults surveyed in 1986 (N = 3,497). Obesity is associated with lower ratings of health among persons with similar levels of morbidity and functional limitation; being underweight does not independently influence health ratings. The effect of being overweight is similar for Black and White adults as well as for men and women. Finally, health ratings for older people were more positive than anticipated regardless of body weight.

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