Maternal Employment and Childhood Obesity in Spain
Jose Labeaga and
No 2006-17, Working Papers from FEDEA
In this paper we explore to which extent the increase in childhood overweight and obesity are consequences of the participation of mothers in the labour market. We think that the increase in female labor force participation can explain, at least in part, the observed increase in the prevalence of overweight and obesity among children. Since it is very difficult to establish causal effects between both variables, we intend to measure it indirectly by using discrete choice models. Our results confirm that maternal employment could be at the root of this personal and social problem, which in absence of specific measures from several fields could become epidemic in the next decades. Otherwise, individuals' quality of life could be threatened, and expenditure devoted to control or alleviate this health problem could put pressure on the sustainability of the National Health System in the future.
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