NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

The Importance of Parental Knowledge and Social Norms: Evidence from Weight Report Cards in Mexico

Silvia Prina, Heather Royer

NBER Working Paper No. 19344
Issued in August 2013
NBER Program(s):   CH   DEV   HE   PE

The rise of childhood obesity in less developed countries is often overlooked. We study the impact of body weight report cards in Mexico. The report cards increased parental knowledge and shifted parental attitudes about children's weight. We observe no meaningful changes in parental behaviors or children's body mass index. Interestingly, parents of children in the most obese classrooms were less likely to report that their obese child weighed too much relative to those in the least obese classrooms. As obesity rates increase, reference points for appropriate body weights may rise, making it more difficult to lower obesity rates.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w19344

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