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Measures of the intergenerational transmission of body mass index between mothers and their children in the United States, 1981-2004

  • Classen, Timothy J.
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    This research provides estimates of the intergenerational persistence of body mass index (BMI) between women and their children when both are at similar stages of the lifecycle. Using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 (NLSY79) and the Young Adults of the NLSY79, associations between the weight status of women and their children are measured when both generations are between the ages of 16 and 24. In the entire sample, the measured intergenerational correlation of BMI is significantly different from zero and equal to 0.35. This result differs by gender with a BMI correlation between female children and their mothers of 0.38, compared to a significantly lower BMI correlation of 0.32 between mothers and their sons. Measures of this relationship across the distribution of BMI using quantile regression and quadrant dependence techniques indicate that the intergenerational persistence of BMI is strongest at higher levels of BMI. Strong dependence across generations is found when categorical outcomes of obesity and overweight are implemented. These results provide evidence of the strong persistence of weight problems across generations which may affect economic mobility within families.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B73DX-4XSVRCS-1/2/306d883b534c7fe8c88e96b8a7c77a41
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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economics & Human Biology.

    Volume (Year): 8 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 1 (March)
    Pages: 30-43

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:ehbiol:v:8:y:2010:i:1:p:30-43
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622964

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