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
Stories of Success: A Qualitative Examination of Contributors to Excellence in School Drinking Water Access
Drinking water instead of beverages with added sugar can help prevent obesity and cavities and promote overall health. Children spend much of their day in school, where they have variable access to drinking water. In 2010, federal and state law required California public schools to provide free potable water to … More