Socioeconomic Status and BMI Trajectories during Market Transformation: A Longitudinal Study of Children and Youth in China

Qiang Fu, Duke University
Linda K. George, Duke University

Using a nationally representative dataset (the China Health and Nutrition Survey), we examine whether (and how) household and parental characteristics at the beginning of China’s economic reform in 1993 influence the BMI trajectories of children and youth through childhood and adolescence. Results from growth curve modeling shows that household and parental characteristics in 1993 have significant linear or curvilinear effect on BMI trajectories from 1993 to 2006, although they are not always in the same direction. While the effects of age and age squared on BMI trajectories have been explained by family SES in 1993, children with a parent working in a state sector, less-educated parents, higher per capita household income show higher increase of BMI at different stages of childhood and adolescence. Moreover, our results point to the significance of regional disparity in influencing BMI trajectories. Children living in rural areas, southern and non-western regions show higher BMI increase.

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Presented in Poster Session 1