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Effects of Title IX and Sports Participation on Girls' Physical Activity and Weight

  • Robert Kaestner
  • Xin Xu

In this study, we examined the association between girls%u2019 participation in high school sports and the physical activity, weight, body mass and body composition of adolescent females during the 1970s when girls%u2019 sports participation was dramatically increasing as a result of Title IX. We found that increases in girls%u2019 participation in high school sports, a proxy for expanded athletic opportunities for adolescent females, were associated with an increase in physical activity and an improvement in weight and body mass among girls. In contrast, adolescent boys experienced a decline in physical activity and an increase in weight and body mass during the period when girls%u2019 athletic opportunities were expanding. Taken together, these results strongly suggest that Title IX and the increase in athletic opportunities among adolescent females it engendered had a beneficial effect on the health of adolescent girls.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w12113.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 12113.

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Date of creation: Mar 2006
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Publication status: published as Kaestner, Robert and Xin Xu. “Effects of Title IX and Sports Participation on Girls’ Physical Activity and Weight." Advances in Health Economics and Health Services Research 17 (2006): 79-111.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12113
Note: HE CH
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
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  1. John Cawley & Chad Meyerhoefer & David Newhouse, 2007. "The impact of state physical education requirements on youth physical activity and overweight," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(12), pages 1287-1301.
  2. David Cutler & Edward Glaeser & Jesse Shapiro, 2003. "Why Have Americans Become More Obese?," NBER Working Papers 9446, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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