Like Mother, Like Father? Gender Assortative Transmission of Child Overweight
27 Pages Posted: 4 Aug 2016
Date Written: September 2017
We study the intergenerational transmission of overweight, that is the association between parental overweight and that of their offspring and examine whether it is gender-assortative or whether the maternal or paternal overweight is related differently to daughters than to sons. We draw from 15 years of data from the Health Survey for England, which contains records of clinically measured weight and height of a representative sample of English children. Our findings are consistent with the existence of a strong intergenerational transmission of overweight from parents to their offspring. These effects are stronger among white children and older parents. We also find support for the existence of an unanticipated gender-assortative transmission of obesity and overweight, namely, a stronger association of father’s overweight and that of his daughters that is statistically significantly different than that of the mother (with her daughters). evidence suggests a higher likelihood of being overweight among girls when their mother is obese.
Keywords: gender assortative parental transmission, child obesity, child overweight, role models, inter-generational transmission
JEL Classification: I120
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation