Household wealth and child body mass index: Patterns and mechanisms

Journal Article (Review;Journal)

Wealth plays a unique role in shaping later-life health risk, but the relationship between wealth and child health remains largely unexplored. Using longitudinal data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) (1994–2013), this study uses multilevel mixed-effects models and the parametric g-formula approach to both assess the relationship between household wealth and child body mass index (BMI) and identify the mechanisms linking wealth to child BMI. We find that household wealth is negatively associated with childhood BMI. In addition to finding a strong, direct association, we also find that household wealth indirectly patterns child BMI and obesity risk through household spending and family stress processes. These findings provide new insights into the links between wealth, child health, and early-life population health disparities.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Boen, C; Keister, LA; Graetz, N

Published Date

  • August 1, 2021

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 7 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 80 - 100

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2377-8261

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 2377-8253

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.7758/RSF.2021.7.3.04

Citation Source

  • Scopus