Monday, April 9, 2012

Being Low-Income Stunts Growth

Oh, those poor low-income kids.  Not only are they falling behind in their academics, they are also apparently smaller than their Korean peers.  

Children in low-income households tend to be smaller than their contemporaries, and the risk that they are underweight or obese is also higher.

The Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs conducted a survey of 545 children in 25 local childcare facilities six and afterschool centers for adolescents in Seoul in June and July last year. The result showed a height distribution of 131.4 cm to 168.7 cm for boys in low-income households, and 132.2 cm to 154.8 cm for girls.

Comparing the data with the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology's, boys from low-income households were up to 2.1 cm shorter than the national average, and girls 4.7 cm shorter.

"Considering that children in Seoul tend to be slightly taller than the average, the actual difference is probably even greater," an institute spokesman said. 
Children in poorer households were also more likely to be under- or overweight. Among boys from poorer families in Seoul, a greater proportion than their richer peers were underweight, and more girls were overweight. "Height and weight are important indicators of the health and nutritional state of children," the institute spokesman said. "Children from low-income families are more likely to experience socio-economic obstacles to growth."


gwern said...

Height is actually a standard proxy in economics and history for health & wealth because it's such a commonly collected statistic in bulk and finely reflects living conditions.

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