Student Author(s)

Kaitlyn Chiazza

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Sarah Estelle

Document Type


Event Date



Child obesity rates have dramatically risen over the past years, tripling from 5% in the 1970s to 15% in the early 2000s (Anderson, Butcher and Schanzenbach). The concern about this so-called epidemic has not escaped academic study. Economists have been especially interested in identifying the causes of obesity. Once the causes of obesity are identified, policy makers and families can make plans to improve child health. Some economic studies find parental involvement to be a strong influence on children’s obesity because the parent is able to mediate factors in the home environment that relate to food-related activities. This research utilizes variables that reflect parental involvement from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Survey—Kindergarten to determine the relationship between parental involvement and children’s nutritional health, including junk food consumption and obesity. Using a fixed effects model, this study finds that some parent activities in the household have an impact on child junk food purchase and consumption, but there is limited impact found on child BMI.