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Socioeconomic Status and Obesity Gradient over Age:New Evidence from China

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Abstract

This paper presents a systematic analysis of the impact of socioeconomic status (SES) on overweight and obesity in China and investigates how and why the SES-obesity gradient differs with age. Using a longitudinal sample drawn from the China Health and Nutrition Survey (CHNS), I find that body mass index (BMI) is positively associated with SES during early childhood but becomes inversely related to childhood SES as children age into adulthood. Estimation results show that children from low SES families are less likely to be overweight or obese than their median and high SES peers. The results from subsamples stratified by living area reveal that the SES gaps of obesity are generally larger for urban residents than rural residents. Females are significantly less likely to be overweight than males in China. The SES during childhood has independent effects after controlling for respondents’ contemporaneous SES. The relationship between the contemporaneous SES of a male adult and his chance of being overweight or obese is significantly positive, while the contemporaneous SES of a female adult is negatively related to her chance of being overweight or obese.

Suggested Citation

  • Bing Ma, 2010. "Socioeconomic Status and Obesity Gradient over Age:New Evidence from China," UMBC Economics Department Working Papers 10-122, UMBC Department of Economics, revised 01 Mar 2012.
  • Handle: RePEc:umb:econwp:10122
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    File URL: http://www.umbc.edu/economics/wpapers/wp_10_122.pdf
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    Cited by:

    1. Bonnefond, Céline & Clément, Matthieu, 2014. "Social class and body weight among Chinese urban adults: The role of the middle classes in the nutrition transition," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 112(C), pages 22-29.
    2. 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).
    3. Romling, Cornelia & Qaim, Matin, 2011. "Direct and Indirect Determinants of Obesity: The Case of Indonesia," Discussion Papers 108350, Georg-August-Universitaet Goettingen, GlobalFood, Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development.
    4. repec:eee:ehbiol:v:26:y:2017:i:c:p:144-150 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Céline BONNEFOND & Matthieu CLEMENT, 2015. "Does social class affect nutrition knowledge and food preferences among Chinese urban adults?," Working Papers 2014-2015_10, CATT - UPPA - Université de Pau et des Pays de l'Adour, revised Apr 2015.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Overweight and Obesity; Socioeconomic Status; China;

    JEL classification:

    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health

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