This paper discusses the impact of early elementary school attendance on children’s body weight. Using data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study–Kindergarten Cohort of 1998 (ECLS-K), researchers compared the weights of children who had completed first grade to those of the same age who had completed kindergarten only. Employing a regression-discontinuity (RD) design, researchers found no strong evidence that an additional year of school had either positive or negative effects on weight outcomes in the full sample. However, additional school exposure appeared to improve weight outcomes of children for whom the transition to elementary school represented a more dramatic change in environment, such as those who spent little time in child care prior to entering kindergarten.
Is Being in School Better? The Impact of School on Children’s BMI When Starting Age is Endogenous
Adequate (or Adipose?) Yearly Progress: Assessing the Effect of No Child Left Behind on Children’s Obesity. Working Paper 16873
This paper discusses how accountability pressures for schools to improve test score outcomes implemented under No Child Left Behind (NCLB) may affect children’s obesity. Using a unique dataset of Arkansas schools that merged school-level information on test scores, obesity, and other demographic information, researchers found that NCLB accountability rules may … More
Stricter school accountability standards have changed the inner workings of elementary schools in the United States, raising test scores in the process. These changes have been particularly abrupt in schools labeled as failing under their states accountability regime. This study will assess whether children in schools just below the test … More
The marketing of unhealthy foods to children and youth is a major public health concern. Children in the United States grow up surrounded by food and beverage marketing, which primarily promotes products with excessive amounts of added sugar, salt, and fat, and inadequate amounts of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. … More