Carlos Caro, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

“Early childhood development and health: evidence from the Chilean School Meals Program”

Presenta: Carlos Caro (PhD(c) Health Policy, MSc Economics, Health Policy Department, Gillings School of Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)

Título: “Early childhood development and health: evidence from the Chilean School Meals Program”

Lugar y hora: 27 de septiembre, 12:30 hrs. Sala P-301, Edificio Placa (Diagonal Paraguay 257)

Childhood obesity is one of the major public health challenges of the XXI century. Evidence from small randomized interventions suggests that socio-emotional development impacts nutritional health during early childhood. I explore the short and long term links between socio-emotional skills, parental engagement and z-score of body mass index (BMI-z) of children attending public and subsidized schools, exploiting locally random assignment to the Chilean School Meals Program (SMP). The eligibility criteria of the SMP allows for identification of local average treatment effects at the student level under a Regression Discontinuity Framework. Participation in 1st grade reduces average BMI-z of girls but not boys in the same year. The effect concentrates among those overweight or obese and fades through the year due to seasonal weight variation. Differences are larger among students with high socio-emotional skills, while parental investment does not mediate local effects. Other potential mechanisms are improved nutritional quality of meals and baseline physical activity. Short term participation does not impact BMI-z at 5th grade. However, continued participation since 1st grade reduces boys  average BMI-z at 5th grade while increasing average BMI-z among girls, in comparison to students that never participated in the program.


Datos del Evento

Fecha de inicio:
27 de Septiembre, 2019 | 12:30 hrs.

Fecha de término
27 de Septiembre, 2019 | 14:30 hrs.