A longitudinal study of height gaps among Mexican children: Disparities and social inequity

Mireya Vilar-Compte, Graciela Teruel, Diana Flores, Ida C. García-Appendini, Adriana Ochoa-Lagunas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Rationale: Health outcomes such as height are important determinants of social inequities. Objective: We assess height gaps in Mexico among boys and girls from distinct subpopulation groups over time. Method: We use longitudinal data from the first three waves of the Mexican Family Life Survey (MxFLS) to analyze children's height differentials by gender and by indigenous and poverty status over 7–10 years. We control for children's characteristics, household factors, and mother's height and use the Blinder–Oaxaca Decomposition method to explain disparities in children's height across the three waves of the MxFLS. Results: The main findings suggest that height inequalities among indigenous and extremely poor boys and girls, compared with their non-indigenous and less socioeconomically disadvantaged counterparts, are persistent. The results also reveal that height disparities among girls are consistently greater than those among boys in similar population groups and that height gaps increase over time for girls. Conclusions: These findings indicate the relevance of social and economic determinants on children's growth potential and the need to examine the association of social determinants on health outcomes. They also underscore the necessity to design and implement public policies that consider a gender perspective.

Original languageEnglish
Article number113388
JournalSocial Science and Medicine
StatePublished - Nov 2020


  • Child height
  • Disparities
  • Gender gap
  • Mexico


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