Quantifying Socioeconomic Inequality in Childhood Obesity
Strathclyde University, Economics Discussion Papers
69 Pages Posted: 16 Feb 2021
Date Written: January 2021
We use longitudinal data on 11,000 UK-born children to examine the relationship between parental weight and income and children’s overweight across childhood. We find that children are three times as likely to be overweight or obese at 14 if they have an obese parent. Irrespective of their parents’ weight, children in the poorest 20% of families are twice as likely to be overweight or obese. These relationships persist through childhood, strengthen over time, and are impervious to observed behavioural differences between groups. This suggests that differences in shared social and economic circumstances across childhood lead to the emergence of stark inequality in childhood obesity across the income distribution by age 14.
Funding Statement: Not funded by any grants or sponsorship.
Declaration of Interests: We do not have any competing interests in producing this research
Keywords: Childhood obesity, health, inequality, intergenerational transmission
JEL Classification: I0, I12, I14, J13
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation