New Study Finds Obese Children Get Lower Grades In Math

Written by on June 18, 2012 in Family - No comments | Print this page

New Study Finds Obese Children Get Lower Grades In Math,childhood obesity,low self esteem,poor school performance

New Study Finds Obese Children Get Lower Grades In Math

We all understand the potential health problems caused by obesity – an increased risk of heart attacks, an increased risk of diabetes, and increased cancer risks. But a new study, published in the journal Child Development, reveals that obesity could also be affecting your child’s school performance.

The study followed 6,250 children from kindergarten through fifth grade and found that children who were obese had lower test scores than children who were not obese, especially in math classes. More important, the study also found these results held true across all classes, regardless of income, race, education level of the parents and the parents’ expectations for the child’s performance.

One of the interesting results turned up in this study was that children who became obese in the third, fourth or fifth grade did better on tests than children who were obese in kindergarten.

However, researchers aren’t quite sure why this connection exists. Does the actual state of obesity have some influence on children’s learning capabilities, or are the poorer scores simply related to something related to obesity, but not the actual pounds?

One study theorizes that self-esteem and underdeveloped social skills may be at the heart of the matter. Young girls especially are conscious of their appearance and a poor self-image leads to stress, anxiety, and a sense of loneliness, all of which can lead to shyness and a lack of social skills. Having no friends can be devastating, which in turn creates emotional problems that may be hindering your child’s school performance.

One side effect of obesity is sleep apnea. This condition causes you to stop breathing while you’re asleep and you wake up repeatedly throughout the night. Not getting enough sleep could be another reason an obese child is having trouble in school.

And it may be your child’s diet that’s the culprit. After all, that’s why he or she is obese, and it’s likely due to eating a lot of fats and sugars and low-nutrient foods. Without proper nutrition even a child at the ideal weight would feel tired and lethargic and have a difficult time learning.

Researchers also state that obesity affects almost every organ in the body so it’s no stretch to think that it has an effect on the brain, as well.

While it may seem like a minor problem when your child has trouble with math, think again. Math grades are one of the key indicators colleges look at when they’re looking at applications, and poor grades in any class, especially math, can hinder your child’s chances of getting accepted.

This is a guest post. Donna Anderson is a freelance writer who enjoys small-town living in rural Kentucky. She’s an active member of several online communities and enjoys taking part in discussions that focus on how real people can live real lives in this fast-paced world we all live in.


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