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Abstract for:

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

Joan  Costa Font,  Mireia  Jofre-Bonet,  November 2011
Paper No' CEPDP1098: | Full paper (pdf)
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Keywords: self-image; identity, body image, eating disorders, anorexia, European women

JEL Classification: I12; Q18

Is hard copy/paper copy available? YES - Paper Copy Still In Print.
This Paper is published under the following series: CEP Discussion Papers
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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.