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Title: Adult and Child Obesity, Evidence from the NLSY
Resulting in 1 citation.
1. Nedanov, Bogdan
Adult and Child Obesity, Evidence from the NLSY
Ph.D. Dissertation, Department of Economics, University of Delaware, 2013
Cohort(s): Children of the NLSY79, NLSY79, NLSY79 Young Adult
Publisher: ProQuest Dissertations & Theses (PQDT)
Keyword(s): Age at Birth; Birthweight; Body Mass Index (BMI); Gender Differences; Height; Intergenerational Patterns/Transmission; Job Characteristics; Mothers, Education; Mothers, Health; Obesity; Occupational Choice; Weight

Permission to reprint the abstract has not been received from the publisher.

The dissertation consists of two separate essays. The first essay expands on the work by Kelly et al. (2011). The goal is to estimate the long term effects of initial occupational choice on an individual's weight status. We use the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY) to estimate OLS and probit models, using overweight and obesity dummy variable indicators as the dependent variables. We also estimate several different two stage models, where occupational choice is considered to be endogenous and is identified using parental blue collar work indicator, the county per capita personal income and several labor market characteristics, all of which are measured at the time of the initial occupational choice. We find that whenever blue collar work choice is treated as exogenous, its effect on the long run respondent's weight status is not statistically significant. Using instrumental variables to identify occupational choice yield statistically significant results and suggests that initial blue collar work is associated with an increase of 17.3%-40.1% (18.3%-45.8%) in the probability of overweight (obese).

The second essay focuses on identifying and quantifying the predictors of child/adolescent obesity. We expand on the work of Classen and Hokayem (2005) and Stifel and Averett (2009). We use the NLSY together with the Child and Young Adults dataset (a separate survey which follows the children of the mothers in the NLSY). First, a probit is estimated, using adolescent overweight and obesity indicators as the dependent variables. The explanatory variables include respondent, mother, household, and geographical controls. Several specifications are estimated, either using current (adolescent) or childhood covariates. We find that the main predictors of child obesity are the mother's obesity status, gender, race, birth-weight, signs of psychological depression, family income, and maternal education. We then estimate OLS and quantile regressions using child/adolescent BMI z-scores as the dependent variable. We find that for many of the variables the estimated coefficients vary substantially depending on the location of the child in the BMI distribution. For instance in our regressions 1 unit increase in the mother's BMI is associated with an increase in BMI of 0.036 (0.215) units if the child is in the 5th (95th) percentile of the BMI distribution.

Bibliography Citation
Nedanov, Bogdan. Adult and Child Obesity, Evidence from the NLSY. Ph.D. Dissertation, Department of Economics, University of Delaware, 2013.