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Math Results are Significantly Poorer in Obese Children, Study


Math Results are Significantly Poorer in Obese Children, Study

(epharmanews)- Since late 1960s, childhood obesity has been increasing dramatically and it has also been tied to many health problems. According to a new research children’s weight is associated with their math performance.

Obese children often suffer from loneliness, anxiety and depression due to social rejection which can hinder their academic performance.

"The findings illustrate the complex relationships among children's weight, social and emotional well-being, academics and time," said Sara Gable, associate professor in the MU Department of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology at the University of Missouri, Columbia, who led the study.

Researchers analyzed date tracking more than 6,250 children from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Kindergarten Cohort, a nationally representative sample.  They compared the academic performance of students who were obese in kindergarten or first grade and remained so through fifth grade with children who were never obese. At five points in time, parents provided information about their families, teachers reported on the children's interpersonal skills and emotional well-being, and children were weighed and measured; they also took academic tests.

Compared with children who were never obese, boys and girls whose obesity lasted since they started going to kindergarten until after fifth grade performed worse on the math tests, starting in first grade. For boys whose obesity emerged later—in third or fifth grade—no such differences were found. For girls who became obese later, poorer math performance was temporary.

"Children who have weight problems are not as well-received by their peers. That creates a condition or situation where developing social skills isn't as easy," said Gable.

"The stigma of obesity and lack of conformity to standards of physical appearance - girls are perhaps ... no pun intended, feeling the weight of that more,"

The study's findings, published in the journal Child Development,  persisted across demographic differences, including race, household income, maternal educational attainment and employment status, and parental expectations for their child's educational achievement.


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Prepared by: Hasan Zaytoon


Source :

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