The Negative Association of Obesity with Subjective Well-Being: Is it All About Health?

Petri Böckerman, Edvard Johansson, Samuli I. Saarni, Suoma E. Saarni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper we examine whether health status and functional capacity explain the fact that obese individuals report significantly lower levels of subjective well-being. We use comprehensive measures of body composition such as waist circumference, body fat percentage, and lean body mass along with body mass index. All these are measured by health professionals in a population-based sample. When controlling for health and functional status, we find very limited evidence for any independent influence of obesity on subjective well-being. This implies that the adverse effects of obesity on health and functioning are the primary explanation for the observed negative relationship between obesity and subjective well-being.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)857–867
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Happiness Studies
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2014
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Subjective well-being

Cite this