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Socioeconomic status, height, and obesity in children

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  • Murasko, Jason E.

Abstract

The substantial increase in the prevalence of child obesity over recent decades and its association with a number of negative health and economic outcomes suggests its strong potential as an influence on the lifecourse development of health and productivity. This paper evaluates interactive effects between family socioeconomic status (SES) and height on child obesity in the United States. Using the 1999-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES), the results of this paper confirm previous findings that taller children exhibit greater propensity towards obesity as measured by body mass index (BMI) and that obesity is inversely related to family SES as measured by poverty status. The analysis adds to the existing literature by showing that the magnitude of the SES-obesity association is larger in taller children. Age and sex patterns are evaluated that suggest the SES-height interaction persists through childhood and adolescence in males but is only evident in females during adolescence. Interaction effects are also shown to be most evident in white males and Hispanic females. Policy implications are discussed and directions for future work are suggested.

Suggested Citation

  • Murasko, Jason E., 2009. "Socioeconomic status, height, and obesity in children," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 376-386, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ehbiol:v:7:y:2009:i:3:p:376-386
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    8. Roberto Rigobon & Thomas M. Stoker, 2007. "Estimation With Censored Regressors: Basic Issues," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 48(4), pages 1441-1467, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Hruschka, Daniel J. & Brewis, Alexandra A., 2013. "Absolute wealth and world region strongly predict overweight among women (ages 18–49) in 360 populations across 36 developing countries," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 337-344.
    2. 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.
    3. Jahns, Lisa & Adair, Linda & Mroz, Thomas & Popkin, Barry M., 2012. "The declining prevalence of overweight among Russian children: Income, diet, and physical activity behavior changes," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 139-146.
    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. Akpalu, Wisdom & Zhang, Xu, 2014. "Fast-food consumption and child body mass index in China: Application of an endogenous switching regression model," WIDER Working Paper Series 139, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    6. Leonie Sundmacher, 2012. "The effect of health shocks on smoking and obesity," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 13(4), pages 451-460, August.
    7. Jo, Young, 2014. "What money can buy: Family income and childhood obesity," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 15(C), pages 1-12.
    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. Bénédicte H. Apouey & Pierre-Yves Geoffard, 2015. "Parents' education and child body weight in France: The trajectory of the gradient in the early years," Working Papers halshs-01223321, HAL.
    10. 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.
    11. repec:eee:ehbiol:v:29:y:2018:i:c:p:42-55 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. 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.

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