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Vertical transmission of overweight: evidence from a sample of English adoptees

Costa-Font, Joan ORCID: 0000-0001-7174-7919, Jofre-Bonet, Mireia and Le Grand, Julian (2020) Vertical transmission of overweight: evidence from a sample of English adoptees. Food Policy, 97. ISSN 0306-9192

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Identification Number: 10.1016/j.foodpol.2020.101972

Abstract

Vertical influences can significantly shape children overweight by affecting both genetics and the environment children are exposed to. This paper examines the vertical (parental) transmission of child overweight drawing upon a fifteen year sample of English adults and their children, both adopted and biological, for which we can retrieve clinical measures height and weight. We find that, when both parents are overweight, children exhibit an increased likelihood of overweight, irrespective of whether they are adopted or biological children. When both parents are obese as opposed to overweight the picture is different. We find that the likelihood of child overweight increases by 16.7 percentage points among natural (non-adopted) children but only by 4.5 percentage points among adopted children. This suggests that the transmission of overweight when both parents are obese is not merely genetic, and what has been called vertical or parental transmission plays a non-negligible role. Our findings are validated by are a battery of robustness checks.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: https://www.sciencedirect.com/journal/food-policy
Additional Information: © 2020 Elsevier Ltd
Divisions: Health Policy
Social Policy
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
R Medicine > RJ Pediatrics > RJ101 Child Health. Child health services
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
JEL classification: I - Health, Education, and Welfare > I1 - Health > I18 - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
D - Microeconomics > D1 - Household Behavior and Family Economics > D13 - Household Production and Intrahousehold Allocation
Date Deposited: 02 Sep 2020 09:21
Last Modified: 20 Apr 2021 03:17
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/106288

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