Long-run consequences of parental paid work hours for child overweight status in Canada
Authors: Shelley A. Phipps, Lynn Lethbridge, and Peter S. Burton
This paper explores the connection between the labour market and child overweight status in Canada. The labour market is a social institution which plays a critical role in determining how families live their day-to-day lives, for example, how much time and which parts of the day are available for cooking, eating and exercise. Using longitudinal data from the Statistics Canada National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth, we find that a history of higher hours of paid work by mothers (but not fathers) is associated with a higher probability of being ‘at risk of overweight’/overweight for children aged 6-11. The policy implication we draw from this work is that additional support to better enable parents to engage in paid work without penalty to their own health or that of their children is clearly warranted.
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