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This study investigates the relationship between Body Mass Index (BMI), weight perception, and weight loss behaviors over time in a cohort of young adults. Using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Youth, 1997, we track changes in BMI and weight perception from ages 12 to 40. Results indicate that while BMI increases over time for all young adults, young men more frequently perceive changes in weight over time compared to young women. Moreover, we find substantial weight perception disparities among young women but not young men. Overall, results indicate that the social perception of weight and weight loss behaviors are closely related to gender and race for young adults.


Dr. Jamie Lynch

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sociology, weight, BMI

Trends in Weight Perception, Weight Loss Behaviors, and Body Mass Index among Young Adults: An Analysis of Race and Gender

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