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date: 28 June 2022

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter uses twin pairs from the Midlife in the United States study to investigate the genetic and environmental influences on perceived weight status for midlife adults. The inquiry builds on previous work investigating the same phenomenon in adolescents, and it shows that perceived weight status is not only heritable, but also heritable beyond objective weight. Subjective assessment of physical weight is independent of one’s physical weight and described as “weight identity.” Importantly, significant differences are shown in the heritability of weight identity among men and women. The chapter ends by discussing the potential relevance of these findings for broader social identity research.

Keywords: twin pairs, Midlife in the United States Study, MIDUS, genetic influences, environmental influences, perceived weight status, midlife adults, BMI, physical weight, weight identity

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