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The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy

Editor-in-Chief: Ludwig, Sandra / Schmitz, Hendrik

Ed. by Auriol, Emmanuelle / Barigozzi, Francesca / Brunner, Johann / Fleck, Robert / Mastrobuoni, Giovanni / Mendola, Mariapia / Requate, Till / de Vries, Frans / Wenzel, Tobias / Zulehner, Christine

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Volume 17, Issue 1


Volume 19 (2019)

Volume 6 (2006)

Volume 4 (2004)

Volume 2 (2002)

Volume 1 (2001)

Are You What You Eat? Healthy Behaviour and Risk Preferences

Matteo M. Galizzi
  • Corresponding author
  • Department of Social Policy, London School of Economics and Political Science, Old 2.35 Old Building Houghton Street, London WC2A 2AE, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
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  • Other articles by this author:
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/ Marisa Miraldo
  • Imperial Business School, Imperial College London, SW72AZ London, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
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Published Online: 2017-02-28 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/bejeap-2016-0081


We elicit and estimate risk preferences for a pool of young adults in the UK, and explore their links with healthy eating and risky health behaviours. We construct the Healthy Eating Index (HEI) as an overall indicator of nutritional quality, and we use it to complement the body mass index BMI. While for females we find no significant association between the BMI and risk preferences, males with high BMI appear more risk-seeking. However, this association disappears when controlling for the quality of the diet. For males, the HEI is significantly associated with risk preferences. Males smoking status is not associated with risk preferences.

Keywords: risk aversion; healthy eating index; risky health behaviour; risk preferences

Correction Note

Correction added after online publication February 28, 2017: Due to a technical error, some reference citations in an earlier version of the article were misplaced.


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Published Online: 2017-02-28

Citation Information: The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, Volume 17, Issue 1, 20160081, ISSN (Online) 1935-1682, ISSN (Print) 2194-6108, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/bejeap-2016-0081.

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