The Relationship Between Hofstede's Cultural Dimensions, Schwartz's Cultural Values, and Obesity

TEKEŞ B., Uzumcuoglu Y., HOE C., ÖZKAN T.

PSYCHOLOGICAL REPORTS, vol.122, no.3, pp.968-987, 2019 (SSCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 122 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Doi Number: 10.1177/0033294118777965
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.968-987
  • Keywords: Obesity, culture, gross national income per capita, body mass index, INDIVIDUALISM, HEALTH, FOOD
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


According to the World Health Organization, obesity is a major public health issue. In 2014, there were more than 600 million obese people around the world. According to the data of the World Health Organization, obesity rates differ among countries. One possible underlying reason of the difference can be culture, more specifically shared cultural values. The strategies and policies regarding obesity were developed; however, the effect of culture is not adequately considered. The aim of the study is to investigate the relationship between obesity rates of countries, Hofstede's cultural dimensions, Schwartz's values, and Gross National Income per capita per country. The data consist of obesity ranking (i.e., the percentage of the population with a body mass index of 30 kg/m(2) or higher), Gross National Income per capita for each country, and cultural variables (i.e., Hofstede's cultural dimensions for 54 nations and Schwartz's cultural values for 57 nations). Hierarchical regression analysis results revealed that Gross National Income per capita was not a significantly related obesity at the aggregated level. Among Hofstede's dimensions, individualism and uncertainty avoidance were positively associated with obesity, and long-term orientation was negatively associated with obesity. The relationship between Schwartz's cultural values and obesity was not found to be significant. Findings suggest that Hofstede's cultural dimensions should be considered when developing national level strategies and campaigns to decrease obesity.