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“Eat, my child”. Obesity among children in developing countries: Evidence from South Africa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
JournalReview of development economics
Accepted/In press28 May 2020

King's Authors


Childhood obesity in developing countries is a topic that has not yet been adequately covered in the literature. Despite the fact that obesity is rising worldwide and is very present even among the poorest of households in developing countries, most of the attention is still given to industrialised ones. This exploratory paper utilises the South African National Income Dynamics Study (NIDS) panel dataset to highlight some of the aspects policy makers should bear in mind. In particular policy options targeting mothers may not be appropriate in a developing setting. A higher attention should be given to caregivers instead. The results of the fixed effects probability regressions indicate that having a non-obese, well-educated caregiver could potentially reduce the probability of a child being obese, thusly informing policymakers about potential target groups and channels.

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