Conceptualization and Measurement of Health Habits for Adults in the Health Insurance Study

Vol. II, Overweight

by Anita Stewart, Robert H. Brook, Robert L. Kane


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Discusses overweight in relation to health status and how overweight is measured in the RAND Health Insurance Study (HIS). This report includes (1) a description of the way overweight and obesity have been measured by various investigators, including an assessment of the reliability and validity of the available measures; (2) data on the prevalence of overweight based on a literature review, including a list of issues that may influence estimates of prevalence (e.g., type of measure used, age of population); (3) a summary (based on a review of the literature) of the relationship between overweight (and obesity) and health, including a review of the relationship between weight reduction and future health status; (4) a description of the HIS measures of weight and overweight, including summary statistics for the measures based on data collected at the time of enrollment into the HIS of people aged 14 to 61; (5) tests of the reliability and validity of HIS measures; (6) a brief description of the experimental hypotheses to be tested; and (7) a discussion of the measurement of eating habits.

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