CitationLee, Hedwig & Harris, Kathleen Mullan (2010). Early life obesity and social stratification in adulthood. 2010 Add Health Users Conference. Bethesda, MD: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Carolina Population Center.
AbstractThis paper examines the social and economic consequences of obesity trajectories in early life— from adolescence through the transition to adulthood. We use data from all waves (Wave I to Wave IV) of Add Health. With data on measured height and weight, we track BMI and obesity trajectories from adolescence (Wave II) through the transition to adulthood (Wave III) and classify young people according to the following trajectories of obesity experience: i) persistent obesity—those who were obese in adolescence and through the transition to adulthood; ii) become obese—those who were not obese in adolescence and become obese in early adulthood; and iii) not obese—those who were never obese, or only obese in adolescence and then not obese by early adulthood. We then examine the social and economic consequences in adulthood (Wave IV) associated with different trajectories of obesity, controlling for various important family background and demographic measures in childhood/adolescence (Wave I). We will examine the relationship between obesity trajectories in early life and multiple measures of social stratification in adulthood when the Add Health cohort is aged 24-32. The outcomes we plan to examine include impacts on education (finishing high school, attending college, finishing college), employment, idle status (not in school or at work), personal earnings, welfare usage, poverty status, household income, assets, debts, home ownership, family formation, and marriage. We anticipate that greater exposure to obesity in early life, especially persistent obesity, will place individuals at the bottom of the social stratification system on these outcomes, relative to no exposure to obesity.
Reference TypeConference proceeding
Book Title2010 Add Health Users Conference
Harris, Kathleen Mullan