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Within-family variation in obesity


  • Price, Joseph
  • Swigert, Jeffrey


We use data from the Children of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 to document the degree to which childhood obesity varies among siblings. We find considerable differences in body weight between siblings with over half of the siblings differing by more than 20 age-specific percentiles in terms of the body mass index. Even among identical twins, there is an average BMI difference of 12 percentiles. This variation is important for the use of econometric approaches that involve sibling comparisons.

Suggested Citation

  • Price, Joseph & Swigert, Jeffrey, 2012. "Within-family variation in obesity," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 10(4), pages 333-339.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ehbiol:v:10:y:2012:i:4:p:333-339 DOI: 10.1016/j.ehb.2012.04.013

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Stephanie von Hinke Kessler Scholder, 2008. "Maternal employment and overweight children: does timing matter?," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(8), pages 889-906.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kim, Young-Joo, 2016. "The long-run effect of education on obesity in the US," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 21(C), pages 100-109.

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    Obesity; Siblings; Twins; Families;


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