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Essays on determinants of children's weight changes in China

<p> In recent decades, China has started to exhibit some of the children&rsquo;s weight problems commonly seen in more developed countries. This study addresses Chinese children&rsquo;s weight changes from two perspectives, using China Health and Nutrition Survey (CHNS) data from 1991-2011. The first essay focuses on the impact of socio-economics status (SES) on children&rsquo;s weight changes and how the SES-weight gradient differs with age, gender and urban status. I find that the child&rsquo;s weight is positively correlated to SES, but the impact of SES diminishes with age. The rise of childhood obesity, especially in urban areas and among high SES families, might be attributed to globalization beginning in the 2000s, which modifies the culture of calorie intake and energy expenditure. </p><p> The second essay examines the intergenerational transmission of weight from parents to children. I find that low SES families have a stronger intergenerational persistence of weight, which suggests their inability to alter children&rsquo;s weight through nurturing. I also find that parents&rsquo; weights are an important predictor of children&rsquo;s weight after controlling for demographics, SES and living environment. A Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition analysis suggests that more than half of the difference in children&rsquo;s BMI ranking between urban and rural areas is attributable to the different urban-rural endowments.</p>
Date23 February 2016
CreatorsXie, Ruizhi
PublisherUniversity of Delaware
Detected LanguageEnglish

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