Alexi Gugushvili: "BMI and dissatisfaction with life: contextual factors and socioemotional costs of obesity"
In this article, publsihed in Quality of Life Research, Alexi Gugushvili and Ewa Jarosz aruge that the association between BMI and decreased life satisfaction is moderated by the contextual environment, and that the character of these effects differs by gender.
In this study, Alexi Gugushvili and Ewa Jarosz investigate whether individuals’ BMI categories are associated with being dissatisfied with one’s life, how this association is affected by the social comparison that individuals make, and what the role of the overall BMI levels in this process is.
The authors use data for 21,577 men and 27,415 women, collected in 2016 by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, from 34 countries in Europe, the Middle East, and Central Asia. To understand the moderating effect of contextual environment, they use multilevel mixed effect logistic regression models and data for national, regional, and cohort-specific BMI levels.
Gugushvili and Jarosz find that the association of BMI and dissatisfaction with life differs by gender, with overweight men being less likely to be dissatisfied with life than men with normal weight and obese women being more likely to be dissatisfied with life compared to women with normal weight. For contextual effects, they find that obese women in regions with low BMI levels are more likely to be dissatisfied with life. The effect of obesity on female life dissatisfaction is not observed in regions with high BMI levels. As for men, regional BMI levels affect the levels of life dissatisfaction but only for underweight men.
Their study adds additional nuance to the quality-of-life research by showing that the association between BMI and decreased life satisfaction is, at least partially, moderated by the contextual environment, and that the character of these effects differs by gender.
Read full article.