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Intergenerational and socioeconomic gradients of child obesity

Costa-Font, Joan and Gil, Joan (2013) Intergenerational and socioeconomic gradients of child obesity. Social Science and Medicine, 93 . pp. 29-37. ISSN 0277-9536

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Abstract

Can the rise in obesity among children be attributed to the intergenerational transmission of parental influences? Does this trend affect the influence of parent’s socioeconomic status on obesity? This paper documents evidence of an emerging social gradient of obesity in pre-school children resulting from a combination of both socio-economic status and less intensive childcare associated with maternal employment, when different forms of intergenerational transmission are controlled for. We also estimate and decompose income related inequalities in child obesity. We take advantage of a uniquely constructed dataset from Spain contain records form 13,358 individuals for a time period ( years 2003 to 2006) in which a significant spike in the growth of child obesity was observed. Our results suggest robust evidence of both socioeconomic and intergenerational gradients. We find robust evidence of high income effect in child obesity, alongside evidence that income inequalities have doubled in just three years with a pure income effect accounting for as much as 72-66% of these income inequality estimates, even when intergenerational transmission is accounted for. Although, intergenerational transmission does not appear to be gender specific, when accounted for, mother’s labour market participation only explains obesity among boys but not among girls. Hence, it appears income and parental influences are the central determinants of obesity among children.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://www.journals.elsevier.com/social-science-an...
Additional Information: © 2013 Elsevier Ltd
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
R Medicine > RJ Pediatrics > RJ101 Child Health. Child health services
Sets: Departments > European Institute
Departments > Social Policy
Research centres and groups > Centre for Economic Performance (CEP)
Research centres and groups > LSE Health
Rights: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/usingTheLibrary/academicSupport/OA/depositYourResearch.aspx
Date Deposited: 19 Jun 2013 08:08
URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/50868/

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