Effects of Weight on Adolescent Educational Attainment

Edited by Robert Kaestner, Michael Grossman and Benjamin Yarnoff

in Economic Aspects of Obesity

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print May 2011 | ISBN: 9780226310091
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226310107 | DOI:
Effects of Weight on Adolescent Educational Attainment

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This chapter investigates the effect of obesity on the educational attainment of adolescents. It studied nationally representative sample of children aged fourteen to eighteen, drawn from a 1997 cohort of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth. Results indicate that weight status (underweight and overweight) does not have a large effect on educational attainment, as measured by grade progression and drop out status. While the data cannot rule out the possibility that weight may have a small effect on educational attainment, there is little evidence that being underweight or overweight has a large, systematically positive or negative effect on grade progression and the probability of dropping out. The chapter describes an empirical analysis based on the educational production function approach that is widely used to identify the effects of family and school resources on educational achievement. It states that there is not much evidence to prove that obesity, and more generally weight status, is significantly related to educational attainment.

Keywords: body weight; educational attainment; obesity; teenagers; empirical analysis; underweight; overweight

Chapter.  13269 words. 

Subjects: Economics

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