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Is the Intergenerational Transmission of Overweight ‘Gender Assortative’?

Costa-Font, J. & Jofre-Bonet, M. ORCID: 0000-0002-2055-2166 (2020). Is the Intergenerational Transmission of Overweight ‘Gender Assortative’?. Economics and Human Biology, 39, article number 100907. doi: 10.1016/j.ehb.2020.100907


Using almost two decades worth of data from the Health Survey for England, containing records of clinically measured weight and height, this paper studies whether parents and children’s overweight (including obesity) is ‘gender assortative’. Our findings suggest that the intergenerational transmission of parent’s overweight differs by children’s sex and is statistically different for fathers and mothers. We show that when the mother is obese, the transmission of overweight to pre-school is gender specific. Similarly, the influence of parental overweight among primary school (pre-school) varies by gender. Gender assortative overweight is stronger among pre-school age and school-aged children. The parent-child associations are large and precisely estimated, heterogeneous by children’s age and sex and stronger among white children and children of older parents. These results point towards evidence of gender assortative intergenerational association of overweight.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2020. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license
Publisher Keywords: Gender-assortative transmission, gender assortative, Child Obesity, Child Overweight, Role Models, Inter-generational Transmission
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Departments: School of Policy & Global Affairs > Economics
SWORD Depositor:
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