Childhood obesity and cognitive achievement

Black, Nicole, Johnston, David W. and Peeters, Anna 2015, Childhood obesity and cognitive achievement, Health economics, vol. 24, no. 9, pp. 1082-1100, doi: 10.1002/hec.3211.

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Title Childhood obesity and cognitive achievement
Author(s) Black, Nicole
Johnston, David W.
Peeters, AnnaORCID iD for Peeters, Anna
Journal name Health economics
Volume number 24
Issue number 9
Start page 1082
End page 1100
Total pages 19
Publisher Wiley
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2015-09
ISSN 1057-9230
Summary  Obese children tend to perform worse academically than normal-weight children. If poor cognitive achievement is truly a consequence of childhood obesity, this relationship has significant policy implications. Therefore, an important question is to what extent can this correlation be explained by other factors that jointly determine obesity and cognitive achievement in childhood? To answer this question, we exploit a rich longitudinal dataset of Australian children, which is linked to national assessments in math and literacy. Using a range of estimators, we find that obesity and body mass index are negatively related to cognitive achievement for boys but not girls. This effect cannot be explained by sociodemographic factors, past cognitive achievement or unobserved time-invariant characteristics and is robust to different measures of adiposity. Given the enormous importance of early human capital development for future well-being and prosperity, this negative effect for boys is concerning and warrants further investigation.
Language eng
DOI 10.1002/hec.3211
Field of Research 14 Economics
11 Medical And Health Sciences
Socio Economic Objective 920501 Child Health
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2015, Wiley
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Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Health
School of Health and Social Development
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