Parental Work Schedules and Child Obesity

Posted: 11 Jun 2007

See all articles by James Chowhan

James Chowhan

McMaster University

Jennifer M. Stewart

Carleton University - School of Public Policy and Administration

Date Written: June 2007


Increasing female labour force participation has been a major change in the labour market, but there have been other substantial changes, such as the move to a 24-hour economy. Researchers have found that children were more likely to have emotional or behavioural problems when parents worked non-standard hours (Strazdins et al., 2004). We use the Canadia National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth (NLSCY) to study this relationship for child weight status. The NLSCY contains information on maternal and paternal work patterns. We can distinguish between regular daytime schedule or shift, regular evening shift, regular night shift, rotating shift (change from days to evenings to nights), split shift, on call, and irregular schedule. The survey also asks whether the parent usually worked weekends. We use various statistical techniques to examine the relationship between parental work schedules and child weight status.

Keywords: employment, obesity, child

JEL Classification: I12

Suggested Citation

Chowhan, James and Stewart, Jennifer M., Parental Work Schedules and Child Obesity (June 2007). iHEA 2007 6th World Congress: Explorations in Health Economics Paper, Available at SSRN:

James Chowhan

McMaster University ( email )

1280 Main St. W.
Hamilton, Ontario L8S4L6

Jennifer M. Stewart (Contact Author)

Carleton University - School of Public Policy and Administration ( email )

1125 Colonel By Drive
Ottawa, Ontario K1S 5B6

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