High frequency body mass measurement, feedback, and health behaviors

P. Kooreman, A. Scherpenzeel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We analyze weight and fat percentage measurements of respondents in an online general population panel in the Netherlands, collected using wireless scales, with an average frequency of 1.6 measurements per week. First, we document the existence of a weekly cycle; body mass is lowest on Fridays and highest on Mondays, showing significant (p < 0.01) differences of, on average, 0.2 kilogram in weight, 0.06 in BMI value, and 0.03 in fat percentage. Second, we find that in the general population fat-based measures of obesity point at a three times larger prevalence of obesity (53%) than BMI-based measures (17%). Third, we find that feedback that includes a recommended weight range increases the temporal variation in individual body mass by almost ten percent (sd for weight increases from 1.13 to 1.22; sd for BMI increases from 0.37 to 0.41; sd for fat percentage increases from 0.55 to 0.61.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-153
JournalEconomics & Human Biology
Volume14
Issue numberJuly
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2014

Keywords

  • body mass
  • fat percentage
  • obesity
  • feedback
  • health behaviors
  • information technology

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