IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/ehbiol/v20y2016icp70-89.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Parents’ education and child body weight in France: The trajectory of the gradient in the early years

Author

Listed:
  • Apouey, Bénédicte H.
  • Geoffard, Pierre-Yves

Abstract

This paper explores the relationship between parental education and offspring body weight in France. Using two large datasets spanning the 1991–2010 period, we examine the existence of inequalities in maternal and paternal education and reported child body weight measures, as well as their evolution across childhood. Our empirical specification is flexible and allows this evolution to be non-monotonic. Significant inequalities are observed for both parents’ education – maternal (respectively paternal) high education is associated with a 7.20 (resp. 7.10) percentage points decrease in the probability that the child is reported to be overweight or obese, on average for children of all ages. The gradient with respect to parents’ education follows an inverted U-shape across childhood, meaning that the association between parental education and child body weight widens from birth to age 8, and narrows afterward. Specifically, maternal high education is correlated with a 5.30 percentage points decrease in the probability that the child is reported to be overweight or obese at age 2, but a 9.62 percentage points decrease at age 8, and a 1.25 percentage point decrease at age 17. The figures for paternal high education are respectively 5.87, 9.11, and 4.52. This pattern seems robust, since it is found in the two datasets, when alternative variables for parental education and reported child body weight are employed, and when controls for potential confounding factors are included. The findings for the trajectory of the income gradient corroborate those of the education gradient. The results may be explained by an equalization in actual body weight across socioeconomic groups during youth, or by changes in reporting styles of height and weight.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ehbiol:v:20:y:2016:i:c:p:70-89
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ehb.2015.10.005
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1570677X15000751
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Benedicte Apouey & Andrew E. Clark, 2015. "Winning Big but Feeling no Better? The Effect of Lottery Prizes on Physical and Mental Health," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(5), pages 516-538, May.
    2. Bénédicte H. Apouey & Pierre-Yves Geoffard, 2015. "Le gradient et la transmission intergénérationnelle de la santé pendant l'enfance," PSE - Labex "OSE-Ouvrir la Science Economique" halshs-01107363, HAL.
    3. West, Patrick, 1988. "Inequalities? Social class differentials in health in British youth," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 291-296, January.
    4. Bénédicte Apouey & Pierre-Yves Geoffard, 2015. "Le gradient et la transmission intergénérationnelle de la santé pendant l'enfance," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, vol. 475(1), pages 113-133.
    5. Fortin, Bernard & Yazbeck, Myra, 2015. "Peer effects, fast food consumption and adolescent weight gain," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 125-138.
    6. Case, Anne & Lee, Diana & Paxson, Christina, 2008. "The income gradient in children's health: A comment on Currie, Shields and Wheatley Price," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 801-807, May.
    7. Palermo, Tia M. & Dowd, Jennifer B., 2012. "Childhood obesity and human capital accumulation," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 75(11), pages 1989-1998.
    8. Khanam, Rasheda & Nghiem, Hong Son & Connelly, Luke B., 2009. "Child health and the income gradient: Evidence from Australia," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 805-817, July.
    9. Suzanna I. Vidmar & Tim J. Cole & Huiqi Pan, 2013. "Standardizing anthropometric measures in children and adolescents with functions for egen: Update," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 13(2), pages 366-378, June.
    10. Bénédicte H. Apouey & Pierre-Yves Geoffard, 2013. "Family income and child health in the UK," PSE Working Papers halshs-00794729, HAL.
    11. Costa-Font, Joan & Gil, Joan, 2013. "Intergenerational and socioeconomic gradients of child obesity," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 29-37.
    12. Bénédicte H. Apouey & Pierre-Yves Geoffard, 2014. "Child health and access to health care in France: Evidence on the role of family income," PSE - Labex "OSE-Ouvrir la Science Economique" halshs-01027569, HAL.
    13. Apouey, Bénédicte & Geoffard, Pierre-Yves, 2013. "Family income and child health in the UK," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 715-727.
    14. Bénédicte Apouey & Pierre-Yves Geoffard, 2015. "Le gradient et la transmission intergénérationnelle de la santé pendant l'enfance," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, vol. 475(1), pages 113-133.
    15. repec:pri:cheawb:case_paxson_economic_status_paper is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Baum II, Charles L. & Ruhm, Christopher J., 2009. "Age, socioeconomic status and obesity growth," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 635-648, May.
    17. Janet Currie & Mark Stabile, 2003. "Socioeconomic Status and Child Health: Why Is the Relationship Stronger for Older Children?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(5), pages 1813-1823, December.
    18. Anne Case & Darren Lubotsky & Christina Paxson, 2002. "Economic Status and Health in Childhood: The Origins of the Gradient," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1308-1334, December.
    19. Fabrice Etilé, 2014. "Education policies and health inequalities: Evidence from changes in the distribution of Body Mass Index in France, 1981-2003," PSE - Labex "OSE-Ouvrir la Science Economique" halshs-00978423, HAL.
    20. Singh-Manoux, Archana & Gourmelen, Julie & Ferrie, Jane & Silventoinen, Karri & Guéguen, Alice & Stringhini, Silvia & Nabi, Hermann & Kivimaki, Mika, 2010. "Trends in the association between height and socioeconomic indicators in France, 1970-2003," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 396-404, December.
    21. Benedicte Apouey & Andrew E. Clark, 2015. "Winning Big but Feeling no Better? The Effect of Lottery Prizes on Physical and Mental Health," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(5), pages 516-538, 05.
    22. Bénédicte H. Apouey & Pierre-Yves Geoffard, 2013. "Family income and child health in the UK," Working Papers halshs-00794729, HAL.
    23. Ai, Chunrong & Norton, Edward C., 2003. "Interaction terms in logit and probit models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 123-129, July.
    24. Carol Propper & John Rigg & Simon Burgess, 2007. "Child health: evidence on the roles of family income and maternal mental health from a UK birth cohort," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(11), pages 1245-1269.
    25. Trogdon, Justin G. & Nonnemaker, James & Pais, Joanne, 2008. "Peer effects in adolescent overweight," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 1388-1399, September.
    26. Halliday, Timothy J. & Kwak, Sally, 2009. "Weight gain in adolescents and their peers," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 181-190, July.
    27. Murasko, Jason E., 2009. "Socioeconomic status, height, and obesity in children," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 376-386, December.
    28. Renna, Francesco & Grafova, Irina B. & Thakur, Nidhi, 2008. "The effect of friends on adolescent body weight," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 377-387, December.
    29. 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.
    30. Classen, Timothy J., 2010. "Measures of the intergenerational transmission of body mass index between mothers and their children in the United States, 1981-2004," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 30-43, March.
    31. Currie, Alison & Shields, Michael A. & Price, Stephen Wheatley, 2007. "The child health/family income gradient: Evidence from England," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 213-232, March.
    32. Steffen Reinhold & Hendrik Jürges, 2012. "Parental income and child health in Germany," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(5), pages 562-579, May.
    33. West, Patrick, 1997. "Health inequalities in the early years: Is there equalisation in youth?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 44(6), pages 833-858, March.
    34. Andrew M. Jones & Nigel Rice & Pedro Rosa Dias, 2011. "Long-Term Effects of School Quality on Health and Lifestyle: Evidence from Comprehensive Schooling Reforms in England," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 5(3), pages 342-376.
    35. Etile, Fabrice, 2014. "Education policies and health inequalities: Evidence from changes in the distribution of Body Mass Index in France, 1981–2003," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 13(C), pages 46-65.
    36. West, Patrick & Sweeting, Helen, 2004. "Evidence on equalisation in health in youth from the West of Scotland," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 13-27, July.
    37. Monheit, Alan C. & Vistnes, Jessica P. & Rogowski, Jeannette A., 2009. "Overweight in adolescents: Implications for health expenditures," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 55-63, March.
    38. Classen, Timothy & Hokayem, Charles, 2005. "Childhood influences on youth obesity," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 165-187, July.
    39. Richard H. Steckel, 1995. "Stature and the Standard of Living," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(4), pages 1903-1940, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:socmed:v:183:y:2017:i:c:p:56-61 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Ahmed Rashad & Mesbah Sharaf, 2017. "Does Maternal Employment Affect Child Nutrition Status? New Evidence From Egypt," Working Papers 1149, Economic Research Forum, revised 11 Jan 2003.
    3. Bénédicte H. Apouey, 2017. "Conditions économiques et définitions subjectives du « bien vieillir »: Résultats d'une enquête quantitative," PSE Working Papers halshs-01475942, HAL.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Children; BMI-for-age z-score; Body weight; Overweight; Socioeconomic status;

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:ehbiol:v:20:y:2016:i:c:p:70-89. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622964 .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.