Many everyday decisions require trade-offs between immediate and delayed benefits. Although much research has assessed discounting of delayed outcomes by using hypothetical scenarios, little research has examined whether these discounting measures correspond to real-world behavior. Three studies examined the relationship between scenario measures of time preference and preventive health behaviors that require an upfront cost to achieve a long-term benefit. Responses to time preference scenarios showed weak or no relationship to influenza vaccination, adherence to a medication regimen to control high blood pressure, and adherence to cholesterol-lowering medication. The finding that scenario measures of time preference have surprisingly little relationship to actual behaviors exemplifying intertemporal trade-offs places limits on the applications of time preference research to the promotion of preventive health behavior.