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Childhood Overweight and School Outcomes

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  • Wendt, Minh
  • Kinsey, Jean D.
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    Abstract

    This paper investigates the association between weight and elementary school students’ academic achievement, as measured by standardized Item Respond Theory scale scores in reading and math. Data for this study come from the 1998 cohort of the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten-Fifth Grade (ECLS-K), which contains a large national sample of children between the ages of 5 and 12. Estimates of the association between weight and achievement were obtained by utilizing two regression model specifications, a mixed-effects linear model and a student-specific fixed-effects model. A comprehensive set of explanatory variables such as a household’s motivation in helping the student learn (e.g. parents’ expectations for their child’s schooling and levels of parental involvement with school activities), teacher qualification, and school characteristics are controlled for. The results show that malnourished children, both underweight and overweight, especially obese, achieve lower scores on standardized tests, particularly for mathematics, when compared to normal weight children. The outcomes are more pronounced for female students compared to male students. These results emphasize the need to reduce childhood malnutrition, especially childhood obesity.

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    File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/49347
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Agricultural and Applied Economics Association in its series 2009 Annual Meeting, July 26-28, 2009, Milwaukee, Wisconsin with number 49347.

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    Date of creation: 2009
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    Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea09:49347

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    Related research

    Keywords: Childhood overweight; academic achievement; ECLS-K; Consumer/Household Economics; Teaching/Communication/Extension/Profession;

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    1. Robert Kaestner & Michael Grossman, 2008. "Effects of Weight on Children's Educational Achievement," NBER Working Papers 13764, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Hanushek, Eric A, 1986. "The Economics of Schooling: Production and Efficiency in Public Schools," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 24(3), pages 1141-77, September.
    3. Dalton Conley & Rebecca Glauber, 2005. "Parental Educational Investment and Children's Academic Risk: Estimates of the Impact of Sibship Size and Birth Order from Exogenous Variations in Fertility," NBER Working Papers 11302, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Katherine A. Magnuson & Christopher J. Ruhm & Jane Waldfogel, 2004. "Does Prekindergarten Improve School Preparation and Performance?," NBER Working Papers 10452, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Judith Blake, 1981. "Family size and the quality of children," Demography, Springer, vol. 18(4), pages 421-442, November.
    6. Jayachandran N. Variyam & James Blaylock & Biing-Hwan Lin & Katherine Ralston & David Smallwood, 1999. "Mother's Nutrition Knowledge and Children's Dietary Intakes," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 81(2), pages 373-384.
    7. Yongsung Chang & Joao Gomes & Frank Schorfheide, 2000. "Persistence," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1632, Econometric Society.
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    Cited by:
    1. Barone, Adriana & O'Higgins, Niall, 2009. "Fat and Out in Salerno and Province: Adolescent Obesity and Early School Leaving in Southern Italy," IZA Discussion Papers 4229, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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