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How does childhood obesity affect school achievement? Contributions from a qualitative analysis implemented in Mexico City

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  • Pierre Levasseur
  • Luis Ortiz-Hernandez

Abstract

In order to better understand the negative causal relationships between childhood obesity and school achievement, we implement a qualitative analysis based on 29 adolescents interviewed in Mexico City. Our findings suggest the following. First, childhood obesity affects schooling outcomes through two interdependent channels: social stigmatization and loss of productivity. Second, three main mechanisms seem to be involved in the relationship. While the loss of productivity alone represents one of such mechanism, the social stigmatization of obesity passes through two mechanisms: (i) a direct social mechanism, including material aggressions and exclusion by peers, and (ii) an indirect social mechanism, referring to psycho-sociological troubles that stigmatized people express. Third, the risk of weight discrimination depends on different individual factors: age, gender, fat distribution and body-mass category.

Suggested Citation

  • Pierre Levasseur & Luis Ortiz-Hernandez, 2017. "How does childhood obesity affect school achievement? Contributions from a qualitative analysis implemented in Mexico City," Cahiers du GREThA 2017-21, Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée(GREThA).
  • Handle: RePEc:grt:wpegrt:2017-21
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    File URL: http://cahiersdugretha.u-bordeaux4.fr/2017/2017-21.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. John Cawley, 2004. "The Impact of Obesity on Wages," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(2).
    2. Lu, Yu-Lung & Chou, Stephen Jui-Hsien & Lin, Eric S., 2014. "Gender differences in the impact of weight status on academic performance: Evidence from adolescents in Taiwan," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 300-314.
    3. Joseph J. Sabia, 2007. "The Effect of Body Weight on Adolescent Academic Performance," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 73(4), pages 871-900, April.
    4. Burkhauser, Richard V. & Cawley, John, 2008. "Beyond BMI: The value of more accurate measures of fatness and obesity in social science research," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 519-529, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Mexico; childhood obesity; school achievement; loss of productivity; social stigmatization; qualitative analysis;

    JEL classification:

    • I15 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Economic Development
    • I26 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Returns to Education

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