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Maternal employment and childhood obesity: A European perspective

Author

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  • Gwozdz, Wencke
  • Sousa-Poza, Alfonso
  • Reisch, Lucia A.
  • Ahrens, Wolfgang
  • De Henauw, Stefaan
  • Eiben, Gabriele
  • Fernandez-Alvira, Juan M.
  • Hadjigeorgiou, Charalampos
  • Kovacs, Eva
  • Lauria, Fabio
  • Veidebaum, Toomas
  • Williams, Garrath
  • Bammann, Karin

Abstract

The substantial increase in female employment rates in Europe over the past two decades has often been linked in political and public rhetoric to negative effects on child development, including obesity. We analyse this association between maternal employment and childhood obesity using rich objective reports of various anthropometric and other measures of fatness from the IDEFICS study of children aged 2-9 in 16 regions of eight European countries. Based on such data as accelerometer measures and information from nutritional diaries, we also investigate the effects of maternal employment on obesity's main drivers: calorie intake and physical activity. Our analysis provides little evidence for any association between maternal employment and childhood obesity, diet or physical activity.

Suggested Citation

  • Gwozdz, Wencke & Sousa-Poza, Alfonso & Reisch, Lucia A. & Ahrens, Wolfgang & De Henauw, Stefaan & Eiben, Gabriele & Fernandez-Alvira, Juan M. & Hadjigeorgiou, Charalampos & Kovacs, Eva & Lauria, Fabio, 2013. "Maternal employment and childhood obesity: A European perspective," FZID Discussion Papers 73-2013, University of Hohenheim, Center for Research on Innovation and Services (FZID).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:fziddp:732013
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Jonathan Briody, 2020. "Parental Unemployment During the Great Recession and Childhood Adiposity," Working Papers 202002, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
    2. Spahn, Peter, 2013. "Macroeconomic stabilisation and bank lending: A simple workhorse model," FZID Discussion Papers 76-2013, University of Hohenheim, Center for Research on Innovation and Services (FZID).
    3. Courtemanche, Charles & Tchernis, Rusty & Zhou, Xilin, 2017. "Parental Work Hours and Childhood Obesity: Evidence Using Instrumental Variables Related to Sibling School Eligibility," IZA Discussion Papers 10739, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    4. Meyer, Sophie-Charlotte, 2016. "Maternal employment and childhood overweight in Germany," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 23(C), pages 84-102.
    5. Bezawit T. Agiro & Wei-Chiao Huang, 2020. "Re-Examining the Effect of Maternal Employment on Child Overweight: The Case of School-Age Children," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 41(1), pages 140-157, March.
    6. Thérèse McDonnell & Orla Doyle, 2014. "Maternal Employment, childcare and childhood overweight during infancy," Working Papers 201411, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
    7. Wencke Gwozdz, 2016. "Is maternal employment related to childhood obesity?," IZA World of Labor, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA), pages 267-267, June.
    8. Peng Nie & Alfonso Sousa-Poza, 2014. "Maternal employment and childhood obesity in China: evidence from the China Health and Nutrition Survey," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(20), pages 2418-2428, July.
    9. Datar, Ashlesha & Nicosia, Nancy & Shier, Victoria, 2014. "Maternal work and children's diet, activity, and obesity," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 196-204.
    10. Gwozdz, Wencke & Sousa-Poza, Alfonso & Reisch, Lucia A. & Bammann, Karin & Eiben, Gabriele & Kourides, Yiannis & Kovács, Éva & Lauria, Fabio & Konstabel, Kenn & Santaliestra-Pasias, Alba M. & Vyncke, , 2015. "Peer effects on obesity in a sample of European children," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 18(C), pages 139-152.
    11. Young Jo & Qing Wang, 2017. "The impact of maternal employment on children's adiposity: Evidence from China's labor policy reform," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 26(12), pages 236-255, December.
    12. McDonnell, Thérèse & Doyle, Orla, 2019. "Maternal employment and childcare during infancy and childhood overweight," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 243(C).
    13. Crudu, Federico & Neri, Laura & Tiezzi, Silvia, 2018. "Family Ties and Children Obesity in Italy," MPRA Paper 90360, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 15 Oct 2018.
    14. Briody, Jonathan, 2021. "Parental unemployment during the Great Recession and childhood adiposity," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 275(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Maternal employment; Children; Obesity; Europe;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply

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