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The Economics of Childhood Obesity

  • Start date: 01 October 2009
  • End date: 30 September 2011

The main cause of the recent rise in children's and adults' weights is simple: a continued misbalance between calorie intake and expenditure. The reason for this imbalance however, is not well understood.

This research, based at the Healthcare Management Group at Imperial College Business School, contributes to the policy debate by examining both causes and consequences of the rise in childhood obesity. For example, it explores the impacts of the 1980's school meal reforms on child weight, comparing children affected by the policy before and after the reforms to those children not affected. It also examines whether obesity in children affects their educational performance, happiness, well-being and mental health. This part of the project uses children's genetic markers to identify whether the relationship between weight and outcomes is causal, or whether it is driven by factors unobserved to the researcher.

  • Outputs (14)