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Socioeconomic status, height, and obesity in children

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  • Murasko, Jason E.

Abstract

The substantial increase in the prevalence of child obesity over recent decades and its association with a number of negative health and economic outcomes suggests its strong potential as an influence on the lifecourse development of health and productivity. This paper evaluates interactive effects between family socioeconomic status (SES) and height on child obesity in the United States. Using the 1999-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES), the results of this paper confirm previous findings that taller children exhibit greater propensity towards obesity as measured by body mass index (BMI) and that obesity is inversely related to family SES as measured by poverty status. The analysis adds to the existing literature by showing that the magnitude of the SES-obesity association is larger in taller children. Age and sex patterns are evaluated that suggest the SES-height interaction persists through childhood and adolescence in males but is only evident in females during adolescence. Interaction effects are also shown to be most evident in white males and Hispanic females. Policy implications are discussed and directions for future work are suggested.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economics & Human Biology.

Volume (Year): 7 (2009)
Issue (Month): 3 (December)
Pages: 376-386

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ehbiol:v:7:y:2009:i:3:p:376-386

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622964

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Keywords: BMI Child obesity Height Poverty Socioeconomic status;

References

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  1. Nicola Persico & Andrew Postlewaite & Dan Silverman, 2001. "The Effect of Adolescent Experience on Labor Market Outcomes: The Case of Height, Third Version," PIER Working Paper Archive 04-013, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 05 Jan 2004.
  2. Duncan Thomas, 1994. "Like Father, like Son; Like Mother, like Daughter: Parental Resources and Child Height," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 29(4), pages 950-988.
  3. Nicola Persico & Andrew Postlewaite & Dan Silverman, 2003. "The Effect of Adolescent Experience on Labor Market Outcomes: The Case of Height," PIER Working Paper Archive 03-036, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  4. Joseph J. Sabia, 2007. "The Effect of Body Weight on Adolescent Academic Performance," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 73(4), pages 871–900, April.
  5. Classen, Timothy & Hokayem, Charles, 2005. "Childhood influences on youth obesity," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 165-187, July.
  6. Anne Case & Christina Paxson, 2006. "Stature and Status: Height, Ability, and Labor Market Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 12466, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Anne Case & Darren Lubotsky & Christina Paxson, 2001. "Economic Status and Health in Childhood: The Origins of the Gradient," NBER Working Papers 8344, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Roberto Rigobon & Thomas M. Stoker, 2007. "Estimation With Censored Regressors: Basic Issues," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 48(4), pages 1441-1467, November.
  9. Ai, Chunrong & Norton, Edward C., 2003. "Interaction terms in logit and probit models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 123-129, July.
  10. Patricia M. Anderson & Kristin F. Butcher & Phillip B. Levine, 2003. "Economic perspectives on childhood obesity," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Q III, pages 30-48.
  11. Edward C. Norton & Hua Wang & Chunrong Ai, 2004. "Computing interaction effects and standard errors in logit and probit models," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 4(2), pages 154-167, June.
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Cited by:
  1. Hruschka, Daniel J. & Brewis, Alexandra A., 2013. "Absolute wealth and world region strongly predict overweight among women (ages 18–49) in 360 populations across 36 developing countries," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 337-344.
  2. Jahns, Lisa & Adair, Linda & Mroz, Thomas & Popkin, Barry M., 2012. "The declining prevalence of overweight among Russian children: Income, diet, and physical activity behavior changes," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 139-146.
  3. Classen, Timothy J., 2010. "Measures of the intergenerational transmission of body mass index between mothers and their children in the United States, 1981-2004," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 30-43, March.
  4. Leonie Sundmacher, 2012. "The effect of health shocks on smoking and obesity," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer, vol. 13(4), pages 451-460, August.

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