Socioeconomic and health disadvantages can emerge early in the life course, making adolescence a key period to examine the association between socioeconomic status and health. Past research on obesity in adolescence has focused on family measures of socioeconomic status, overlooking the role of individual-level nascent indicators of socioeconomic disadvantage. Using measured height and weight from nationally representative data from Brazil, we estimate sibling fixed effects models to examine the independent effects of nascent socioeconomic characteristics—school enrollment and work status—on adolescent overweight and obesity, accounting for unobserved genetic and environmental factors shared by siblings. Results show that school enrollment is associated with lower odds of overweight and obesity. Working is not significantly associated with overweight/obesity risk. However, adolescents not enrolled but working face the highest risk of overweight/obesity. Findings suggest that adolescents face added layers of disadvantage from being out of school, with important implications for the accumulation of health disadvantages.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Psychology
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health