Processes of Cumulative Disadvantage: Socio-Economic and Intergenerational Transmission of Child Nutrition in Brazil

Leticia J. Marteleto, University of Texas at Austin
Luiz Gama, Cedeplar, UFMG
Flavio Carvalhaes, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, UFRJ
Letisha E. C. Brown, University of Texas at Austin

Adolescent obesity is a public health concern that is increasing at alarming rates in mid- and low-income countries. With more rapid nutrition and epidemiological transitions, Brazil is an ideal context for understanding how the socio-economic and intergenerational transmission of (dis)advantages intertwines with nutrition while considering the many disadvantages children already face. We use unique nationally representative data with information on height and weight for all household members, including parents and siblings, to implement logit, quantile and fixed-effect models. Results suggest that parental obesity is associated with child obesity beyond household nutrition behavior. Findings also show that socio-economic disadvantages operate very differently for children under-, normal- and over-weight. Further findings suggest that adolescents who work and are out of school face higher probabilities of obesity. Overall preliminary findings suggest that socio-economic and intergenerational disadvantages lead to health disadvantages during adolescence, contributing to perpetuate poor conditions in an already highly stratified society.

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Presented in Session 239: Cross National Perspectives on Economic Circumstances and Children's Outcomes