Obesity linked to low academic scores among teen girls
A new study has shown that obesity in adolescent girls is linked to lower academic attainment levels throughout their teenage years.
The research conducted by the Universities of Strathclyde, Dundee, Georgia and Bristol is the most comprehensive study yet carried out into the association between obesity and academic attainment in adolescence.
The results showed that girls who were obese, as measured by BMI (body mass index) at age 11 had lower academic attainment at 11, 13 and 16 years when compared to those of a healthy weight. The study took into account possible mediating factors but found that these did not affect the overall results.
Attainment in the core subjects of English, Maths and Science for obese girls was lower by an amount equivalent to a D instead of a C, which was the average in the sample.
Associations between obesity and academic attainment were less clear in boys.
"There is a clear pattern which shows that girls who are in the obese range are performing more poorly than their counterparts in the healthy weight range throughout their teenage years," Dr Josie Booth, of the School of Psychology at the University of Dundee, said.
The results are published in the International Journal of Obesity.
(Posted on 12-03-2014)