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

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift


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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Externa organisationer
  • Stockholms universitet

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Näringslära


TidskriftInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Utgåva nummer12
StatusPublished - 2018 dec 5
Peer review utfördJa