Will People who Choose to Gamble their Money Also Choose to Gamble with their Health?

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Title: Will People who Choose to Gamble their Money Also Choose to Gamble with their Health?
Author: Koelmel, Elizabeth C.
Advisor: Owens, David M.
Department: Haverford College. Dept. of Economics
Type: Thesis (B.A.)
Issue Date: 2009
Abstract: This paper investigates the consistency with which people exhibit chance-taking behavior. By looking at the relationship between individuals’ gambling choices and their choices regarding fast-food consumption, junk-food consumption, exercise habits, video-game and computer-game playing, as well as choices regarding other entertainment options (such as movie-watching tendencies), this paper looks at whether or not people who gamble with their money will also gamble with their health by eating unhealthily and leading an inactive (or sedentary) lifestyle. Generally speaking, this paper finds that gamblers tend to exhibit chance-taking behavior when making decisions that relate to their health. This study does not establish a causal relationship (i.e. if an individual gambles, he or she will make more unhealthy choices), but it is able to find evidence for a significant and revealing relationship between gambling choices and choices relating to one's health that can lead one to conclude that--holding all other factors constant--those who gamble, and especially those who gamble seriously, are more likely to make choices regarding food consumption and lifestyle habits that could negatively affect their health. Such a finding lends itself to support the notion that there is the potential to believe that there is a degree of consistency with which people express chance-taking behavior when considering certain financial and health choices. At the very least, the findings in this study hold value for their real-life applicability.
Subject: Gambling -- Economic aspects
Subject: Lifestyles -- Health aspects
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Koelmel, Elizabeth C.. "Will People who Choose to Gamble their Money Also Choose to Gamble with their Health?". 2009. Available electronically from

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