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Maternal employment and childhood obesity: A European perspective

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  • Gwozdz, Wencke
  • Sousa-Poza, Alfonso
  • Reisch, Lucia A.
  • Ahrens, Wolfgang
  • De Henauw, Stefaan
  • Eiben, Gabriele
  • Fernandez-Alvira, Juan M.
  • Hadjigeorgiou, Charalampos
  • Kovacs, Eva
  • Lauria, Fabio
  • Veidebaum, Toomas
  • Williams, Garrath
  • Bammann, Karin

Abstract

The substantial increase in female employment rates in Europe over the past two decades has often been linked in political and public rhetoric to negative effects on child development, including obesity. We analyse this association between maternal employment and childhood obesity using rich objective reports of various anthropometric and other measures of fatness from the IDEFICS study of children aged 2-9 in 16 regions of eight European countries. Based on such data as accelerometer measures and information from nutritional diaries, we also investigate the effects of maternal employment on obesity's main drivers: calorie intake and physical activity. Our analysis provides little evidence for any association between maternal employment and childhood obesity, diet or physical activity. --

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Hohenheim, Center for Research on Innovation and Services (FZID) in its series FZID Discussion Papers with number 73-2013.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:fziddp:732013

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Keywords: Maternal employment; Children; Obesity; Europe;

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References

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  1. Liu, Echu & Hsiao, Cheng & Matsumoto, Tomoya & Chou, Shinyi, 2009. "Maternal full-time employment and overweight children: Parametric, semi-parametric, and non-parametric assessment," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 152(1), pages 61-69, September.
  2. Suzanne Bianchi, 2000. "Maternal employment and time with children: Dramatic change or surprising continuity?," Demography, Springer, Springer, vol. 37(4), pages 401-414, November.
  3. Stephanie von Hinke Kessler Scholder, 2007. "Maternal Employment and Overweight Children: Does Timing Matter?," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK 07/180, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  4. Ruhm, Christopher J., 2005. "Maternal Employment and Adolescent Development," IZA Discussion Papers 1673, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  6. Cawley, John & Liu, Feng, 2012. "Maternal employment and childhood obesity: A search for mechanisms in time use data," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 10(4), pages 352-364.
  7. Morrill, Melinda Sandler, 2011. "The effects of maternal employment on the health of school-age children," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 240-257, March.
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  12. Brown, Judith E. & Broom, Dorothy H. & Nicholson, Jan M. & Bittman, Michael, 2010. "Do working mothers raise couch potato kids? Maternal employment and children's lifestyle behaviours and weight in early childhood," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 70(11), pages 1816-1824, June.
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Cited by:
  1. Nie, Peng & Sousa-Poza, Alfonso, 2014. "Maternal employment and childhood obesity in China: Evidence from the China Health and Nutrition Survey," FZID Discussion Papers, University of Hohenheim, Center for Research on Innovation and Services (FZID) 87-2014, University of Hohenheim, Center for Research on Innovation and Services (FZID).
  2. Spahn, Peter, 2013. "Macroeconomic stabilisation and bank lending: A simple workhorse model," FZID Discussion Papers, University of Hohenheim, Center for Research on Innovation and Services (FZID) 76-2013, University of Hohenheim, Center for Research on Innovation and Services (FZID).

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