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Associations between household income, height, and BMI in contemporary US schoolchildren

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  • Murasko, Jason E.

Abstract

This paper evaluates the association between income and physical development in a nationally representative sample of contemporary US schoolchildren followed from kindergarten to eighth grade (average ages of 6–14). A generalized linear mixed modeling framework is used to evaluate height and body mass index (BMI) as both levels and annualized growth in a pooled sample. Contemporary US schoolchildren show income variation in height that is significant but modest at around .1cm (in kindergarten) to .4cm (eighth grade) increases per doubling of income. An exception is found for Hispanic children who show faster height velocity associated with higher income through childhood yielding a 1.0cm increase per doubling of income by the eighth grade. All groups except black males show a negative relationship between income and BMI that becomes stronger with age with an average .8kg/m2 lower BMI per doubling of income by the eighth grade. These results are robust to the inclusion of baseline anthropometric controls. The analysis suggests that higher-income US schoolchildren enter mid-adolescence as taller but with lower proportional body mass relative to their lower-income counterparts.

Suggested Citation

  • Murasko, Jason E., 2013. "Associations between household income, height, and BMI in contemporary US schoolchildren," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 185-196.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ehbiol:v:11:y:2013:i:2:p:185-196
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ehb.2011.09.001
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Millimet, Daniel L. & Tchernis, Rusty, 2015. "Persistence in body mass index in a recent cohort of US children," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 17(C), pages 157-176.
    2. Liu, Hong & Zhao, Zhong, 2014. "Parental job loss and children's health: Ten years after the massive layoff of the SOEs' workers in China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 303-319.
    3. Apouey, Bénédicte H., 2016. "Child physical development in the UK: The imprint of time and socioeconomic status," MPRA Paper 73771, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Apouey, Bénédicte H. & Geoffard, Pierre-Yves, 2016. "Parents’ education and child body weight in France: The trajectory of the gradient in the early years," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 20(C), pages 70-89.
    5. Liu, Hong & Fang, Hai & Zhao, Zhong, 2013. "Urban–rural disparities of child health and nutritional status in China from 1989 to 2006," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 294-309.
    6. Jo, Young, 2014. "What money can buy: Family income and childhood obesity," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 15(C), pages 1-12.
    7. Antelo, Manel & Magdalena, Pilar & Reboredo, Juan C., 2017. "Obesity: A major problem for Spanish minors," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 61-73.
    8. Bénédicte H. Apouey, 2016. "Child physical development in the UK: The imprint of time and socioeconomic status," PSE Working Papers halshs-01364464, HAL.
    9. repec:eee:phsmap:v:501:y:2018:i:c:p:86-97 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Bénédicte H. Apouey & Pierre-Yves Geoffard, 2015. "Parents' education and child body weight in France: The trajectory of the gradient in the early years," PSE Working Papers halshs-01223321, HAL.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Adolescent; BMI; Children; Growth; Height; Income;

    JEL classification:

    • I0 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - General

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