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Like Mother, Like Father? Gender Assortative Transmission Of Child Overweight


  • Costa-Font, J.
  • Sato, A.


We study the association between parental overweight and that of their offspring and explore whether parental influence on their children is gender assortative (e.g., maternal effect is more important for daughters). We take advantage of a unique dataset, the Health Survey for England, containing records of clinically measured weight and height of a representative sample of English children and their parents for the period 1996-2009. Our findings are consistent with the existence of strong intergenerational transmission of overweight and obesity from parents to their offspring. The effects are stronger among white children and older parents. However, we only find evidence of gender assortative transmission under some restrictive conditions, namely, we find an increased likelihood of overweight among girls when the mother is obese, and especially when girls are either at school or teenage age.

Suggested Citation

  • Costa-Font, J. & Sato, A., 2016. "Like Mother, Like Father? Gender Assortative Transmission Of Child Overweight," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 16/08, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
  • Handle: RePEc:yor:hectdg:16/08

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    Gender Assortative Parental Transmission; Child Obesity; Child Overweight; Role Models; Inter-generational Transmission;

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior

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