Author(s)

Euthymia Stratakis

Date of this Version

4-29-2021

Advisor

Joseph Harrington

Abstract

The last 40 years have seen an alarming increase in obesity rates all around the world. Unhealthy levels of weight gain negatively impact nearly all physiological functions of the body and, on a macro level, weaken the population in the face of other public health issues. Given obesity’s ability to significantly increase mortality from COVID-19, identifying potential solutions should receive more attention than ever. Academic research continues to study the relationship between a variety of potential biological, environmental, and socioeconomic causes and rising obesity rates. However, a growing literature is also beginning to examine the impact of social influence on unhealthy behavior in an effort to understand how to take advantage of peer effects in creating potential solutions. This thesis expands on such literature to examine the psychological mechanisms behind such peer effects on healthy behavior by offering an economic model of an interaction between two peers.

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Date Posted: 19 May 2021

 

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