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Child Care Choices, Food Choices, and Children’s Obesity Status

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  • Mandal, Bidisha
  • Powell, Lisa M.
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    Abstract

    We evaluate the effect of differences in child care and food environments on obesity among children in the age group of four to six years. To address non-random selection of children into different child care settings, we first predict market price of child care and market wages, and then examine how these affect choice of child care settings and the amount of time children spend in different settings. Using panel data models, we analyze the role of care settings on frequency of consumption of different types of food items, such as soda, fast food, fruits, vegetables, and juice. Finally, we analyze the effect of food choices on obesity status, with and without controlling for child care environment. We analyze two types of households – single mother households and two-parent households. We find some notable differences in consumption of different types of high-calorie and low-calorie food items across different care settings. Further, higher consumptions of soda and fast food are associated with higher obesity rates among children in single mother households, while higher consumption of 100% juice is associated with higher rates of obesity and higher consumption of vegetables is associated with lower likelihood of obesity among children in two-parent households.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Agricultural and Applied Economics Association in its series 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. with number 149432.

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    Date of creation: May 2013
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    Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea13:149432

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    Keywords: child care choices; soda and fast food consumption; panel data; childhood obesity; Consumer/Household Economics; Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety; Health Economics and Policy; Institutional and Behavioral Economics; Research Methods/ Statistical Methods; C13; D01; I12;

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    1. Cawley, John & Liu, Feng, 2012. "Maternal employment and childhood obesity: A search for mechanisms in time use data," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 10(4), pages 352-364.
    2. David M. Cutler & Edward L. Glaeser & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2003. "Why Have Americans Become More Obese?," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1994, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    3. Stewart, Mark B, 1983. "On Least Squares Estimation When the Dependent Variable Is Grouped," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(4), pages 737-53, October.
    4. Arleen Leibowitz, 1974. "Home Investments in Children," NBER Chapters, in: Marriage, Family, Human Capital, and Fertility, pages 111-135 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Darius Lakdawalla & Tomas Philipson, 2002. "The Growth of Obesity and Technological Change: A Theoretical and Empirical Examination," NBER Working Papers 8946, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Angela Fertig & Gerhard Glomm & Rusty Tchernis, 2006. "The Connection Between Maternal Employment and Childhood Obesity: Inspecting the Mechanisms," Caepr Working Papers 2006-020, Center for Applied Economics and Policy Research, Economics Department, Indiana University Bloomington.
    7. Leibowitz, Arleen, 1974. "Home Investments in Children," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(2), pages S111-S131, Part II, .
    8. Shapiro, Jesse & Glaeser, Edward & Cutler, David, 2003. "Why Have Americans Become More Obese," Scholarly Articles 2640583, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    9. Ruhm, Christopher J., 2005. "Maternal Employment and Adolescent Development," IZA Discussion Papers 1673, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    10. Lisa Benson & Manouchehr Mokhtari, 2011. "Parental Employment, Shared Parent–Child Activities and Childhood Obesity," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 32(2), pages 233-244, June.
    11. M. Christopher Auld & Lisa M. Powell, 2009. "Economics of Food Energy Density and Adolescent Body Weight," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 76(304), pages 719-740, October.
    12. Arleen Leibowitz, 1974. "Home Investments in Children," NBER Chapters, in: Economics of the Family: Marriage, Children, and Human Capital, pages 432-456 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Honore, Bo E, 1992. "Trimmed LAD and Least Squares Estimation of Truncated and Censored Regression Models with Fixed Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(3), pages 533-65, May.
    14. Jean Kimmel, 1998. "Child Care Costs As A Barrier To Employment For Single And Married Mothers," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(2), pages 287-299, May.
    15. David M. Blau, 1999. "The Effect of Child Care Characteristics on Child Development," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 34(4), pages 786-822.
    16. Lisa M. Powell, 2002. "Joint Labor Supply and Childcare Choice Decisions of Married Mothers," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 37(1), pages 106-128.
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