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Measuring Obesity in Young Children

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  • Shelley Phipps
  • Peter Burton
  • Lynn Lethbridge
  • Lars Osberg

Abstract

Child obesity is currently an important policy problem in Canada. Making the best evidence-based policy choices in response requires having the best possible evidence. Yet, we point out how easy it can be to make serious mistakes when measuring child obesity, particularly for young children. We demonstrate that parental reports of child height and weight very likely overestimate obesity prevalence for very young children. Given the importance of child obesity as a policy issue, our main conclusion is that it is critical for national surveys in Canada to provide interviewers with appropriate equipment and ask them to weigh and measure children very accurately. While this would certainly increase survey costs, the costs to society of making less than the best policy choices are likely to be even higher.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by University of Toronto Press in its journal Canadian Public Policy.

Volume (Year): 30 (2004)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Pages: 349-364

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Handle: RePEc:cpp:issued:v:30:y:2004:i:4:p:349-364

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Cited by:
  1. Phipps , Shelley & Lethbridge, Lynn, 2006. "Income and the Outcomes of Children," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2006281e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
  2. Shelley Phipps, 2007. "Health Outcomes for CHILDREN in Canfrrada, England, Norway and the United States," Social Indicators Research, Springer, Springer, vol. 80(1), pages 179-221, January.
  3. Price, Joseph & Swigert, Jeffrey, 2012. "Within-family variation in obesity," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 10(4), pages 333-339.
  4. Lars Osberg & Jiaping Shao & Kuan Xu, 2007. "The Growth of Poor Children in China 1991-2000: Why Food Subsidies May Matter," Department of Economics at Dalhousie University working papers archive, Dalhousie, Department of Economics wider_nov_18_2007.pdf, Dalhousie, Department of Economics.

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