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The peer context of dieting : The relationship between young adults’ dieting frequency and their friends’ weight-related characteristics

Miething, Alexander; Rostila, Mikael; Edling, Christofer LU and Rydgren, Jens (2018) In International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 15(12).
Abstract

Previous research found that weight-related behaviors and body weight tends to be similar between individuals and peers. Rather little is known how different domains of weight-related behaviors co-evolve in peer networks. Hence, this study explores how young adults’ self-reported dieting relates to perceived body weight and weight control behaviors of their peers. A Swedish two-wave panel survey with ego-centric network data was analyzed with negative binomial regression models. Nineteen-year-old men and women in the first wave, and 23-year-olds in the follow-up sample were examined. Men at age 19 showed an increased dieting propensity when being exposed to underweight peers. Compared to men, women’s dieting at age 19 was more strongly... (More)

Previous research found that weight-related behaviors and body weight tends to be similar between individuals and peers. Rather little is known how different domains of weight-related behaviors co-evolve in peer networks. Hence, this study explores how young adults’ self-reported dieting relates to perceived body weight and weight control behaviors of their peers. A Swedish two-wave panel survey with ego-centric network data was analyzed with negative binomial regression models. Nineteen-year-old men and women in the first wave, and 23-year-olds in the follow-up sample were examined. Men at age 19 showed an increased dieting propensity when being exposed to underweight peers. Compared to men, women’s dieting at age 19 was more strongly related to their own body image concerns, and peers’ weight-related behaviors like physical exercising and unhealthy eating. The associations between dieting and peers’ weight-related characteristics for men and women deteriorated from age 19 to age 23. The findings suggest that women’s dieting—in comparison to dieting in men—is more strongly related to the peer context. The decrease in associations between men’s and women’s dieting and peers’ weight-related characteristics from age 19 to age 23 may reflect a weakened importance of the peer context in early adulthood.

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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Dieting, Early adulthood, Ego-centric social networks, Sweden, Weight control behavior
in
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
volume
15
issue
12
publisher
Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute
external identifiers
  • scopus:85057984789
ISSN
1661-7827
DOI
10.3390/ijerph15122744
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
73fc007f-787c-4742-9f8d-17f89b69a40c
date added to LUP
2018-12-19 11:58:36
date last changed
2019-02-20 11:40:25
@article{73fc007f-787c-4742-9f8d-17f89b69a40c,
  abstract     = {<p>Previous research found that weight-related behaviors and body weight tends to be similar between individuals and peers. Rather little is known how different domains of weight-related behaviors co-evolve in peer networks. Hence, this study explores how young adults’ self-reported dieting relates to perceived body weight and weight control behaviors of their peers. A Swedish two-wave panel survey with ego-centric network data was analyzed with negative binomial regression models. Nineteen-year-old men and women in the first wave, and 23-year-olds in the follow-up sample were examined. Men at age 19 showed an increased dieting propensity when being exposed to underweight peers. Compared to men, women’s dieting at age 19 was more strongly related to their own body image concerns, and peers’ weight-related behaviors like physical exercising and unhealthy eating. The associations between dieting and peers’ weight-related characteristics for men and women deteriorated from age 19 to age 23. The findings suggest that women’s dieting—in comparison to dieting in men—is more strongly related to the peer context. The decrease in associations between men’s and women’s dieting and peers’ weight-related characteristics from age 19 to age 23 may reflect a weakened importance of the peer context in early adulthood.</p>},
  articleno    = {2744},
  author       = {Miething, Alexander and Rostila, Mikael and Edling, Christofer and Rydgren, Jens},
  issn         = {1661-7827},
  keyword      = {Dieting,Early adulthood,Ego-centric social networks,Sweden,Weight control behavior},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {12},
  number       = {12},
  publisher    = {Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute},
  series       = {International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health},
  title        = {The peer context of dieting : The relationship between young adults’ dieting frequency and their friends’ weight-related characteristics},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15122744},
  volume       = {15},
  year         = {2018},
}