Maternal Nonstandard Work Schedule, Children’s Dietary Patterns, and Their Body Mass Index

Haena Lee, University of Chicago

This paper examines the impact of maternal nonstandard work schedule (e.g., evening, night and irregular shifts) on their children’s body mass index (BMI) with a particular focus on the Korean population. I further examine the extent to which children’s dietary pattern (e.g., frequency of skipping breakfast and meals away from home) moderates the effect of maternal nonstandard work schedule on children’s BMI. Using a nationally representative sample of children (age 2 – 18), I find that, when mothers work at nonstandard times, the odds of their children being overweight or obese are 85% higher than those whose mothers work at standard times, and this association is mediated by frequency of meals away from home. The adverse effect of maternal nonstandard work schedules is more significant for adolescents. However, these associations are not evident for children (under age 12), indicating mechanisms which precipitate obesogenic environment may operate differently by age group.

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 Presented in Session P7. Health and Mortality of Women, Children and Families