Tags: obesity | math | skills | kids

Obesity Hurts Math Skills

Tuesday, 19 Jun 2012 12:42 PM


Obese elementary school students tend to score more poorly in math skills than normal-weight kids, new research shows.
The study, published in the journal Child Development, involved more than 6,250 children whose weight and math scores were analyzed by researchers at the University of Missouri, the University of California-Los Angeles, and the University of Vermont.
"The findings illustrate the complexity of relations among children's weight status, social and emotional well-being, academics, and time," said lead researcher Sara Gable, a nutrition and exercise specialist at the University of Missouri.
The findings are based on studies of children who were followed from the time they started kindergarten through fifth grade. Parents provided information about their families; teachers reported on the children's interpersonal skills and emotional well-being; children were weighed and measured; and they also took academic tests.
When compared with normal-weight children, obese boys and girls performed worse on math tests, starting in first grade and through fifth grade. For girls who were persistently obese, having fewer social skills explained some part of their poorer math performance, researchers found. And for both boys and girls who were persistently obese, feeling sadder, lonelier, and more anxious also explained some of their poorer math performance.
"Our study suggests that obesity in the early years of school, especially obesity that persists across the elementary grades, can harm children's social and emotional well-being and academic performance," Gable said.


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Obese elementary school students tend to score more poorly on math tests.
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Tuesday, 19 Jun 2012 12:42 PM
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