IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/isu/genstf/201301010800004440.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The impact of maternal occupation and pre-pregnancy weight status on childhood obesity: A comparative analysis of the United States and the United Kingdom

Author

Listed:
  • Schuring, Jessica

Abstract

Previous studies have shown that maternal employment during childhood increases a child's probability of becoming overweight and that the probability increases with the mother's weekly working hours. Current maternal weight status has also been shown to impact a child's weight status. This paper seeks to expand on these relationships by examining the effects of maternal occupation choice and pre-pregnancy weight status on childhood obesity. The analysis will be a comparative one between the United States (U.S.) and the United Kingdom (U.K.). Matched mother-child data from the 2008 surveys of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth in the U.S. and of the Millennium Cohort Study in the U.K are used. Probit models are specified on the likelihood of a child being obese given certain child, maternal and household characteristics, including maternal occupation and pre-pregnancy weight status. Finally, an additional model is analyzed that replaces maternal occupations with descriptive attributes of the mother's job, from the Occupational Information Network (O*Net).The results suggest a similar impact of maternal pre-pregnancy weight status on childhood obesity between the two regions, with a mother being overweight or obese before pregnancy increasing her child's risk of obesity later in childhood. The effect is larger in the U.S. but highly significant for both. The impact of maternal occupation on childhood obesity, however, differs between the two regions. In the U.S. several occupation categories are shown to be significant in actually decreasing a child's risk of obesity, relative to if the mother was not employed, and all of the occupation categories are jointly significant. In the U.K. maternal occupations are neither individually nor jointly significant in impacting the risk of a child being obese. These results are equally as evident in the model using the O*Net attributes. Again, in the U.S. many of the O*Net attributes have explanatory power on the child's risk of obesity and these results are robust to several different tests of significance. In the U.K., however, the O*Net attributes have no significant impact on child obesity risk, suggesting that employment conditions in the U.K., specifically possibly through national policies, may be more family-friendly.

Suggested Citation

  • Schuring, Jessica, 2013. "The impact of maternal occupation and pre-pregnancy weight status on childhood obesity: A comparative analysis of the United States and the United Kingdom," ISU General Staff Papers 201301010800004440, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:isu:genstf:201301010800004440
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://lib.dr.iastate.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=4440&context=etd
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Cawley, John & Liu, Feng, 2012. "Maternal employment and childhood obesity: A search for mechanisms in time use data," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 10(4), pages 352-364.
    2. Angela Fertig & Gerhard Glomm & Rusty Tchernis, 2009. "The connection between maternal employment and childhood obesity: inspecting the mechanisms," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 7(3), pages 227-255, September.
    3. Anderson, Patricia M., 2012. "Parental employment, family routines and childhood obesity," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 10(4), pages 340-351.
    4. Anderson, Patricia M. & Butcher, Kristin F. & Levine, Phillip B., 2003. "Maternal employment and overweight children," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 477-504, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    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:isu:genstf:201301010800004440. 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: (Curtis Balmer). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/deiasus.html .

    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.