The Economics of Childhood Obesity: Is maternal employment contributing to the epidemic?

Elizabeth Dernie (2010). The Economics of Childhood Obesity: Is maternal employment contributing to the epidemic? Master's Thesis, School of Economics, The University of Queensland.

       
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Author Elizabeth Dernie
Thesis Title The Economics of Childhood Obesity: Is maternal employment contributing to the epidemic?
School, Centre or Institute School of Economics
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2010
Thesis type Master's Thesis
Supervisor Unknown
Total pages 77
Language eng
Subjects 14 Economics
Formatted abstract
The childhood obesity epidemic represents a major threat to the well-being of children as well as the future prosperity of society. The origins of the epidemic are multi-faceted and the exact mechanisms behind weight gain in children remain poorly understood. This project draws on the theories of household production and human capital to outline a theoretical framework for childhood obesity, in which parents are assumed to have primary responsibility for the behaviours that determine a child's weight. It appears that some parents may be having difficulty internalising the cost of their child's obesity and are making sub-optimal decisions in relation to their child's food consumption and physical activity patterns. Therefore, a rationale for government intervention is outlined, taking into account the agency relationship between parents and children and the various sources of market failure in childhood obesity. A major societal change that has been identified as a potential contributor to the obesity problem in children is the transition of mother's into the workforce. A comprehensive review of the maternal employment literature is carried out to determine the relative contribution of this factor to the childhood obesity epidemic. Based on these findings, potential policy options to reduce obesity among children are suggested.
Keyword Childhood obesity
Maternal employment
Government intervention

 
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